You may recall a few months ago I said I was going to bake some whole-grain bread soon. Well, I finally did it! And I’ll say, it wasn’t bad for my first attempt. I mean, I’ve made whole-wheat pizza dough before, and baked a few loaves in my lifetime (it’s been quite a while though). But this is the first time I actually really tried to make a country loaf of 100% whole-wheat bread.
I followed the recipe in this book for whole-wheat hearth bread exactly. I kept copious notes on the timing and temperature and the extra water I added and what I might do differently next time. The crumb is very dense, so maybe I’ll try a longer, slower rise (in the fridge overnight?) and I think the dough could’ve been a little bit more wet.
Also, after the holidays and whatnot, I think I might try a sourdough starter. I’ve been a little intimidated by the process but that distinct flavor was definitely missing from my loaf (though it tasted plenty good!). This recipe as written would definitely work well as a sandwich loaf, which I will give a shot soon.
I had to cook the loaf longer than the recipe called for, despite having the oven on convection (I really should get an oven thermometer…). I’m pleased with the nice, thick and chewy crust and the nuttiness of the bread, even if it’s not as tall as I’d like. Soon I’ll try out some enriched and flavored breads, too.
I’m sure this loaf will serve me quite well this week, and I’ll keep you updated on my progress as a bread baker! And maybe I’ll check out a few more bread books over the holidays.