Thursday, 10 September 2009

Light Wheat Bread: BBA Challenge

It's Day 18 of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge and we're finally making a bread that includes some whole wheat flour. It's a Light Wheat Bread so it only includes about 33% whole wheat flour, but the combination of bread flour and whole wheat flour should make a fluffy loaf that is great for sandwiches and toasting. Mmmm...I can't wait!
I've enjoyed making most of the breads in the challenge so far but I'm excited about this bread because I like to make healthy breads - well relatively healthy in this case. It seems that a lot of you feel the same way since the whole grains section is the most frequently visited section of my site.
I'm also excited about this bread because it will go well with the jams I've been making. It just so happens that it's my dad's birthday this week and we're celebrating his birthday tomorrow (Friday) night. I wanted to make him some bread to go with the jam I'm giving him. This formula only makes one loaf so I decided to make two batches. I'm giving one loaf to my dad for his birthday along with some homemade Strawberry Jam - his favorite. I'm keeping the other loaf to enjoy myself. Well, I'll share some with my taste tester, maybe...
If you're looking for 100% whole wheat bread, check out these whole grain bread recipes.
We'll be making a Multigrain Bread in the next couple of weeks and we'll also be making a 100% whole wheat version in the BBA Challenge in the coming weeks so stay tuned. More to come...
I used home milled whole wheat flour for this recipe. If you enjoy milling your own grains, check out our Home Milling section for resources and tips for milling your own grains.
This is an easy bread to make so let's get started.

Light Wheat Bread
Makes: 1 medium loaf
From: Peter Reinhardt's Bread Baker's Apprentice
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature


Stir together the dry ingredients in a bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the shortening, honey, and water.  Mix on low speed until the ingredients form a ball. The dough should feel soft and supple.
Transfer the dough to a counter sprinkled with flour and begin kneading or mixing using the dough hook. Add more flour if necessary to make a dough that is tacky but not sticky. This should take about 10 minutes by hand or 6 minutes by machine. I started out mixing with the mixer but decided to knead it some by hand as well.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and roll it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches long.
Form it into a loaf by rolling the dough up and pinching the seams with the side of your hand. You can also refer to the detailed instructions in the post on Anadama Bread.
Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch bread pan. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Let the loaf proof at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees to make sure it bakes evenly. Continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the oven. The finished loaf should be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Once the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.
This bread was so easy I decided to make another loaf. I made both loaves the same night. Now that's what I call easy!
I had a peanut butter and homemade peach jam sandwich using this bread. It was delicious!
Store the bread in a plastic bag on the counter. It will keep for several days. Or, you can freeze it in an airtight freezer bag for a few months.

Thanks for joining us this week in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. See you next time...

Happy Baking!

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