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Old 10-13-2012, 03:00 AM   #1
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How can it taste so good and still be a failure?

Ok, so I purchased a new to me brand of whole wheat flour. It was Hodgeson Mill Whole Wheat Graham flour. The aroma was superior. The texture is somewhat coarse. It looked so promising. So, my first use of this flour was going to be superior, multi-grain bread, with extras. Here's what I put into the dough.

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup rye flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 cup chopped sunflower seeds
2 tsp. salt
4 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. proofed yeast in 1/4 cup sugar-water
6 tbs. cooking oil
water to make a smooth, elastic batter

I kneaded the dough until smooth and elastic and not sticky, but not dry texture. I let it rise until double, punched it down, and placed it into a well greased loaf pan. I let it rise to the pan top, and then baked it at 350' F until done.

The bread tastes full-bodied, with a rich, whole grain/multi grain flavor, and wonderfully light crunch from the sunflower seeds. The flavor is well balanced. The bread isn't overly heavy, is very moist, and very tender. In fact, that's my problem. The bread texture has no elasticity. You can't pick up a slice without if falling apart in your hands. The flavor would be sooooo perfect for a BLt. But it won't hold together. I had to make a deconstructed BLT tonight by slicing the fresh, and perfect flavored tomato, and place it together with the fried bacon, and lettuce. and eat it with a fork, by stabbing the individual parts, and placing the combination into my mouth to get that satisfying blend of each ingredient. I had a hard time spreading Miracle Whip (the consistency of mayonnaise) onto the bread without it tearing apart. Now that's just too tender and crumbly!

So bread experts, what did I do wrong. And don't say that bread flour is a necessity, because I have successfully made great bread with all purpose flour, both whole wheat, and white, before. I do, however, need some help with this one.

Thanks.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 10-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
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I'm going to guess that 1/3 c AP flour wasn't enough to to provide the gluten needed in the bread. What I have read is that you can replace up to 1/2 of the flour in a bread dough with whole grain or other flour but you need enough of the AP for gluten creation to keep the bread holding together.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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Same thought here Dave. As I was reading the ingredients, I kept looking for the AP flour. Preferably unbleached bread flour. His choice of Hodgeson flour is an excellent choice. Equal to if not better than King Arthur.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:57 AM   #4
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I usually do 2:1 ratio when replacing the AP with ww/other grains. I also up the yeast to 2.5 tsp and add 1/2 tsp baking soda to the flour.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Well, I'm giving it a 2nd shot, but this time with 4 cups AP flour, and 2 cups whole wheat. I let the dough slow-rise overnight and checked it about an hour ago. The texture and aroma are outstanding. The dough has doubled in size and has a rich, yeasty aroma. I tasted it and the salt/sugar/wheat flavor is just right. I spread butter on the outside surface to keep from developing a dried out crust on the dough before I covered the bowl for the night. Now I've punched it down, and made the dough into 16 dinner rolls, and one mini loaf of bread. It's going through its 2nd rise in the pan right now. In an hour or so, I'll check it.

If it is as good as it smells, and I get the texture just right (and from the dough I have, I think I will), then this will be a batch that redeems me. "Good enough" just doesn't work for me. It has to be the best that I can make it. I've won local contests with my bread. I just got into a slump, for about a year, where my bread just wasn't coming out right. So I went back to the basics, and used the techniques I know, and took my time with no shortcuts. We'll see if I break my slump today. I think this batch is gonna be as good as I can make it. I'll let you know.

Oh, and I reduced the oil to about a quarter cup for the 6 cups of flour. I just worked in water until the dough was loose, but not too sticky (gummy).

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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You can use a much higher ratio of whole wheat flour if you add some vital wheat gluten to the mix. I always add some to bread that has at least half whole wheat flour in it, no more crumbly texture. If I'm doing a recipe that has 6 cups flour and half of that is whole wheat, I'll add 1/4 cup. If doing 6 cup all whole wheat, or a majority whole wheat, I'll add 1/2 cup.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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I was thinking that was a lot of oil for a bread recipe! GMTA!

The Buckwheat and Rye are fine, too. The recipe above, 2 cups AP and 1 cup whole wheat. That extra 1/3 cup can be added in while kneading.

I like to use the odd flours for kneading instead of AP, adds a bit more in without overdoing it.
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