Homemade Whole Wheat Bread Woes – Hole in the bread

I started this blog last week. And I never got back to it. My life has be a gnarly mess of business.

Check out the latest batch of bread I made:

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I have been trying to find the perfect bread recipe for YEARS.

A few years ago, I found a half-white half-whole wheat bread that seemed the answer to my prayers. But that half-white thing was still nagging at me. I wanted the holy grail of bread, 100% whole wheat…(angelic music playing in the background)

I found a recipe online Here that I was really excited about. It didn’t require extra ingredients like “dough enhancer” or “vital wheat gluten’ both of which I almost never have on hand and are expensive to find/buy.

But I had a problem. Hole in the bread. After I would take my bread out of the oven and let it cool and slice it, I would get a giant hole in the middle of my bread about the size of my palm. EVERY. TIME.

Then it would fall apart when I was slicing it because of the giant hole. I got so frustrated that I threw away a few batches in rage. Then I had a good pout and felt better.

I tried Googling the problem, but no one was very helpful. I tried rolling up my loaves tighter being anal about pinching the ends. I tried poking holds with a skewer down the loaves. I tried everything.

Well, I figured out my problem.

I was putting too much dough in my loaf pan. Who knew? I finally followed the recipe that I had (because it said I COULD make three loaves, but I didn’t believe it and was making two) and weighed my dough before I put it in the pan. It came out to just over a pound of dough per loaf.

Having made bread for the better part of five years or so, I felt kind of stupid. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.

Here is the bread recipe. I tweaked it a little, because I DO NOT like a lot of sweetener in my bread. Did you know that British people come over to the states and wonder why we are labeling our cakes as “bread”? Our bread is that sweet people.

 

Whole Wheat Bread (makes 3 loaves)

In a small bowl:

Dissolve 2 TBSP yeast and 1 TBSP sugar in 1/2 cup hot water (the water should be around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Just hot enough that you don’t want to be touching it anymore)

In mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid, but you can do this by hand)

Whisk 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups hot water (I use whey if I have it left over from making cheese)

Add: 1/3 cup oil and 2 TBSP honey (or other sugar equivalent) and 1 TBSP Salt

Add: Yeast mixture

Change to dough hook (or wooden spoon)

Add 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

When combined knead 8-10 minutes in a mixer or 20 minutes by hand. You want the dough to not be sticky anymore.

Oil a large bowl and let rise for 20 minutes. (I turn my oven to 350 F and let it rise on the oven. The top of my oven gets REALLY warm when the oven is on. You can also set your oven temp to 170 or the lowest setting and let it rise in the oven)

Punch down and divide in to 3 even sized loaves and place in oiled loaf pans.

Let rise in a warm spot (see above) for another 20 minutes, or until doubled in sized.

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes until loaves are browned and cooked on the bottom. (You can also shape this dough into rolls. Those take about 18 minutes to bake)

LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes then pop them onto a cookie rack. When I say completely, I really mean for a couple of hours before you cut into them. Otherwise they get all weird and not very bready texture.

I like to double this recipe and freeze bread so I don’t have to make it all the time. We tend to go through bread pretty fast at our house. Even doing six loaves at a time, I still have to make bread every other week or so.

This process takes me about an hour and a half, because I grind my wheat right before I make my bread.

Everyone loves this bread. I took it to Story time at the library (because I forgot and didn’t have time to do anything else) and Moms, kids, EVERYONE was snarfing it down.

I love food. Especially good food. Sigh.

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