Monday, March 30, 2009

Blender Ground Wheat Bread-Compromise Loaf

Update: I am not getting the same results with this recipe each time. The blended grain idea seems to be useful, but the amount of white flour is turning out to be more like half of the recipe. 4-11-09

Help me with this method. Would you try this experiment?

You can grind your own wheat berries in your blender to make this "compromise" loaf of bread. It uses sourdough for the acid medium to neutralize the phytates and a little yeast to help things along after it's kneaded. It does use some high gluten white flour which does not need soaking. The whole grain has already been soaked, so a yeast rise which is fairly quick is OK to me since I still use a little yeast. I have never mastered a sourdough 100% whole wheat loaf that I like, so this is my compromise. I use my usual recipe amounts.

1+1/2 C. wheat berries (1 C. = 8 oz. berries)
1+1/2 C. water with a little more to drizzle in (use minimum amount possible) to maintain a vortex.
Glob of sourdough starter (about 1/4 C).

Blend for 3 minutes while maintaining a vortex in the blender.

Pour back some of the blended grain/water/sourdough mixture into the sourdough jar to save.
Let the rest soak overnight in the blender or in the bread machine bowl.

Next day add:

2 C. King Arthur All Purpose or Bread Flour
1 t. yeast or less-I've not tried this without yeast yet.
2 t. Real Salt
1 T Olive Oil or melted butter

Start the bread machine and check the dough for correct hydration since I've not used exact measurements. When the dough cycle is complete, form the loaf by hand and put in the pans you use. Bake as usual.

This dough has a great texture and seems nicer than using pre-ground whole wheat flour. The white flour has enough gluten to give this a huge rise.

This is even better: I also tried soaking whole wheat berries in whey and water and then blended the soaked berries the next day. I did add some sourdough to this dough for flavor. I got GREAT bread but almost burned out my blender. I formed two batards on parchment paper, and when they had risen, I put them in a cold oven and set it to 400 degrees and set the timer to 45 minutes.

The texture of this bread is like soft white bread. It seems pretty magical and has a nice artisan crust. The dough is at least 2/3 whole wheat (by weight) , so this is a nice surprise. The bread has nice pieces of wheatberries in it with a lovely texture. Wow! I have never gotten this crust with this much whole wheat. I believe the gluten in the whole wheat was preserved since the acid medium soak was on the outside only and didn't destroy the gluten which happens a lot to me when I make sourdough bread.

If you own a Bosch Universal, will you try blending soaked wheat berries in your Bosch with the amount of water you usually use for your bread recipe? I'd like to know if the Bosch can handle it.

Note: My wheat berries weigh about 8 oz./cup and flour usually weighs 4.5 oz./cup so my usual recipe of 3+1/2 C. flour to 1+1/2 C. water makes this about 2/3 whole grain bread. And you don't have to have a grain mill.

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