Wholewheat Bread.

Wholewheat bread

Who doesn't love bread! I am a professional pastry chef and a very happy whole food plant based no oil vegan (I need to find an abbreviation!).... I LOVE bread.... when I first started training I fell immediatly in love with bread baking, it was and still remains my very favourite thing to bake. Mostly because I love eating it so much! When I transitioned to this lifestyle the first thing I did was adapt a basic country loaf. I hope you love it as much as I do, there's far more breads to come!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Proving time3 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Keyword: artisan bread, baking, plant based, vegan, wholefoods, wholewheat
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 600 grams wholewheat flour
  • 10 grams salt
  • 12 grams dry active yeast
  • 500 mls warm water blood temperature

Instructions

  • Oven bake on 230 degrees C for 15 mins then a further 25 mins at 210 degrees C - I like to rotate my loaf once in the oven during cooking.

Notes

Here we have it! Wholewheat bread...
Traditionally whole wheat flours are hard to work with, wholewheat flour isn't refined which means it contains certain properties that haven't been 'cleaned' out of it. Good fiberous whold food elements that are just fine where they are! (for example bran - a whole grain which can contain good stuff like: zinc, magnasium and iron).
Most industry standard 'wholemeal' or 'brown' breads will be a combination of wholewheat flours and white flours - which are easier to control. For those of us that eat an entirely whole food plant based diet, we are used to approaching our cooking a bit differently and not intimidated to create all our food from scratch.
Bread makers are very popular these days but I firmly believe that just the twenty short minutes it takes to make this (15 mins to weigh and work the dough, then later on after the first prove 5 mins to re-shape the dough for its second prove), is SO worth the time. Nothing smells better than fresh baking bread and if you have a tomato addiction like mine, a slice of this fresh bread out of the oven smothered with sliced tomatoes and cracked black pepper will put a huge smile on your face!
Cut short, if your new to bread making and this is the first loaf that you make - follow the instructions and you will have an absolutely gorgeous whole food country loaf. When you nail this recipe (which you all will!), then there are other recipes to play with. More open textured wholewheat breads resembling more of a ciabatta, rye loaves, French loaves and of course sourdough.
For those of you that have baked bread, there are a few points I would like to cover that may be a little different for you.
This is a WET dough, it has a 90% hydration ratio, this is because wholewheat flour is very porous and can become very dry (a 100% wholewheat flour bread can be heavy and dry. This basic wholewheat loaf should be soft and lovely - example below... look at the soft open texture of the crumb. Gorgeous!).
With most white country loaves, you might find a 60-70% hydration ratio, so it is a different feel to doughs that you may have worked with before. However I have taken photos at each stage to show you what it should look like.
This has a longer prove, again this is because of the nature of the flour, it is unrefined and therefore a little heavier.
LETS GET STARTED!
First of all stir your yeast into the warm water.
Weigh out the dry, add the salt into the flour.
Mix together the wet and the dry and turn out onto a clean side board - you don't need flour at this stage, it is going to be sticky and that's ok!
Stretch the dough out a little:
And then fold it back onto itself:
Repeat these steps over and over again. Take some time to scrape the dough up off the side board every now and then so you aren't wasting any dough. After some time you will feel the dough start to come together a little, if you need a sprinkle of wholewheat flour here and there that's fine, don't over do it as it will dry out the loaf.
Here's the end goal, a formed dough in a nice tidy ball. At this point I had used a little dusting of flour and the dough was formed and not sticky.
Now transfer the dough into a lightly floured bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for two hours to prove, the photo below is the same dough after two hours, see the lovely bubbles?
Now gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, I like to fold the dough into two sets of book turns and then reform the dough into a nice neat ball again. Tip into a floured proving basket (these can be bought anywhere on the internet very cheaply) At this point I turn my oven onto 230 degrees C to preheat.
Then leave for another 40 mins. I could have taken this next picture at a better angle, but the dough has grown up in a lovely dome.
Take a hot tray out of the oven and line it quickly with parchment paper, gently tip the bread out of its proving basket onto the tray, slash across the top of the bread with a sharp knife (to help it have an even rise) a couple of times and get it straight into the oven on the same temperature of 230 degrees C.
After 15 mins, turn the oven down to 210 degrees C and bake for a further 25 mins.
When you think the bread is finished cooking, tap it on its bottom, it should have a clear sharp tap like the knocking on a door. If it sounds a little dense pop it back in for another 5 to 10 mins.
And there we have it! Gorgeous wholefood plant based yumminess!

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