How to Make Whole Wheat Bread

It is important to understand the special techniques in making whole wheat bread. Homemade whole wheat bread has a distinct taste and texture, not to mention, all the nutrients that will keep you slim and fit. Some individuals use 100% whole wheat flour but fail to acquire the right firmness. You may end up with a very hard loaf if you do not follow the guidelines strictly. Here are some tried and proven tips from the experts.

The Basic Factors

To make the best 100% whole wheat bread, you need 3 things. First, always use adequately high protein flour, or alternatively, add some vital wheat gluten to the bread dough. Second, avoid adding flour a long while before you need to. Third, knead consistently and nonstop. You will find that using a food processor helps you with the kneading process, since you get to save more time and effort. You can also use your hands or a mixer with a dough hook to get the job done.

Whole wheat flour is heavier compared to white flour, so you need to develop good strong gluten to make a soft crumb and pleasing texture. The higher protein content you have, the more gluten available. Avoid adding too much flour or you risk creating loaves that are hard as a brick. Kneading continuously leads to gluten forming a consistent and strong matrix.

The Recipe

To make a full loaf, you will need 3.5 cups of 100% whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 package of dry yeast, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of liquid lecithin and warm water. If you are using food processors to do the kneading for you, always use ice water. Once you master the recipe, feel free to add more ingredients like seeds and nuts.

These ingredients are enough to make a loaf weight about 1 1/4 pounds, baked inside an 8.5 x 4.5 inch pan. This pan is ideal compared to metal or glass pans. The metal can create an ideal exterior crust along the sides, baking the loaf evenly throughout. The smooth hard surface will let go of the loaf quickly after baking. This pan also cleans up very easily.

Understanding the Process

There are a number of processes to be followed to make 100% whole wheat bread that has soft and crumb texture. You can knead using a food processor, your hands or the mixer, but the process is radically the same. The 4 processes included are the mixing process, the kneading process, the rising process and the baking process.

Using Bread Machines

You can also use bread machines that provide you the exact amount of every ingredient added in a certain order. You can have the machine operate independently to do the four processes. This is excellent with dough that is made with some white flour. It is not ideal for dough that is 100% whole wheat flour. Whole wheat bread generally requires more rising and kneading times.

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