Monday, January 21, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread revisited

This is a loaf made from the recipe I posted on January 10. Baked in a pullman pan, it didn't completely fill the corners of the pan. This seems to be the norm for wholegrain loaves I've baked -- bread made from regular unbleached bread flour or all-purpose will completely fill the pan and give squared off corners but the whole wheat doesn't. YMMV

This bread is proving to be a great keeper. We've all been sick with fever, cough, cold symptoms, and not eating very much. DH even stayed home from work part of last week, so I knew he was really ill. But that meant we didn't use up the loaf I'd made last Sunday until yesterday -- over 7 days and it was still fresh. Previously, if we had homemade wholegrain bread left past 4-5 days, it would begin to mold. I know honey makes a difference in the keeping ability of bread but what else would have that effect? The only other real difference between this recipe and the one I was using from the Bread Beckers, is the 24-hr "soaking" period. Otherwise they call for the same ingredients or, in the case of water as the liquid in the Beckers' recipe, I substituted thinned yogurt or dry milk and water.

I hastily took this picture before DH and DS started making their lunch and DH's packed dinner for work today. I wanted to try to show the texture. I don't have a vocabulary to explain what I want to say so I thought I'd try a photo.

And, in case you're not familiar with a pullman loaf pan, here's a picture below that shows mine. A pullman pan has a lid that slides on and off. You put the bread in the pan, let rise, when it's almost to the top, slide the lid on and bake. The bread will do the final rise in the oven and will usually fill the pan. Some people remove the lid after the first 15 minutes or so, I usually leave it on.

You can make a homemade pullman pan using a straight-sided loaf pan. Place a greased cookie sheet on top after forming the dough. Be sure to put a heavy weight like a big rock, brick or maybe a big iron skillet on top of the cookie sheet to hold it down when the last rise kicks in inside the oven.

Oh, and FWIW, those are a couple of my handwoven towels under the bread in 2 of the pictures. That's another thing that's on my list -- make more towels. We love using the handwoven ones...

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