BBA Challenge #18: Light Wheat Bread

The bread baking continues…now for something a little more “healthy”–wheat bread, whole grains, fiber, all that.

My dough at first was fairly rough; it’s pretty heavy too.  Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it felt heftier in my hands than an equivalent amount of earlier doughs (or am I essentially asking which weighs more, a  pound of feathers or a pound of lead?)

In any case, after the kneading it formed a nice dough.  I used regular bread flour (you can use high gluten flour) because it’s much easier to come by.  But my understanding is that whole grains have what it like little scissors that cut the gluten strands (which “rough edges” are removed in white flour); thus I think you compensate by extra gluten.  This is the reason whole wheat breads are typically so dense.  The extra gluten boost is the same idea behind vital wheat gluten that you might see with all those specialty flours.  (I had always wondered what “vital wheat gluten” is — what a name–vital to what?).  I imagine vital wheat gluten is a good way to gift some lift to your loaves if you are on a whole-grains only diet, for example.  

Here’s my loaf rising in the pan.  As I mentioned, given how heavy this felt to me, it was surprising to me that you only get  one loaf.

Risen…

And out of the oven!  This bread was good, but I think not as “whole wheat-y” as I would like.  I definitely like the flavor of whole wheat breads, though not necessarily the denseness.  So maybe I’d prefer a medium wheat bread.  Or maybe I’ll get Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads for Christmas….

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