Recipe: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (Artisan Bread in 5 mins)

I’ve been making all the bread we eat for almost 2 years.  Granted, we do not consume much bread in our house. On a slow month, a loaf can sometimes last the whole month. I started off with the Mark Bittman’s famous no-knead bread that was posted on NYTimes. Since I don’t have any bread machine or mixer, I didn’t want to deal with kneading bread especially not with my arthritic fingers that hurt if I exerted my hands, so this recipe was perfect. Except when I made it whole wheat instead of normal white bread, it was usually very dense and very crusty. I tried using a loaf pan but the dough does not rise very well and resembled a brick more than bread. Initially I made free-form loaves but that made rather flat long pieces of bread, so I ended up making rolls instead so that the cross-section is now round instead of long and flat, which makes for strange sandwiches.

Cross-section of the different no-knead bread

Cross-section of the different no-knead bread

Then this year, I ventured to a similar recipe called Artisan Bread in 5. It is another no knead recipe which also features a long first rise. As with the first recipe, I mixed up all the ingredients, then leave it in a mixing bowl or container for 12 hours except for this artisan bread in 5, after 2 hours, the rise is happens in the fridge instead. The beauty of this recipe is that after refridgerating, the dough is a lot easier to handle and I can actually shape the loaf so it looks like a loaf. And then recently, I decided to challenge the fully whole wheat sandwich bread again – this time with dough enhancers. Dough enhancers are stuff you add to help whole wheat bread rise. I made my own ‘enhancer’ by adding lemon juice, ginger powder and vital wheat gluten and viola! the bread rose so well, you can hardly tell that it’s whole wheat! I made some sausage rolls, raisin buns and even a whole loaf that actually looks like a loaf. (See comparison to what I made before :P) I’m not sure if it’s a testimony of how yummy this new recipe is, but Calvin has been eating two slices of it every single morning since I first made it. I’ve left a copy of the recipe below.

My very first free form loaf in 2011. Tasty but totally the wrong shape

2011: My very first free form loaf. Tasty but totally the wrong shape

A loaf that actually looks like a loaf

2013: A loaf that actually looks like a loaf

Recipe: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

3.25 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cup water (substitute 1/2 cup milk)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon flaxseed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten (needs additional 1.25x liquid)
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a lidded container until well mixed. Let rise for 2 hours then place in fridge for 8 hours. Put the lid on loosely or the gases might cause an ‘explosion’ in your fridge.
2. After the first rise in the fridge, cut out the size of the dough that you need. Pat flour all over to prevent it from sticking. Shape it into a loaf and make 3 cuts on top with a serrated knife.
3. Put it in a oiled loaf pan and let it rise for 90 mins in a warm room or oven.
4. Preheat oven to 375F for 20 mins. Bake for 30 mins until the top turns brown.
5. When done, remove the loaf from pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices once it has completely cooled.

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2 Responses to “Recipe: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (Artisan Bread in 5 mins)”

  1. e* Says:

    wow… impressive! you’re making bread from first principles!!
    btw, you’ve totally CHANGED MY LIFE with the char siu recipe!!
    I went from almost never eating char siu, to eating it almost every week. i don’t know why my mom didn’t make it more often, since it’s really quite easy and convenient to make, and super yummy (ish. – sometimes it’s still too dry etc.)!

  2. miucat Says:

    Yeah, sometimes I can’t believe I do such things. I’ll think ‘Whoa, that’s so….. domestic of me to be making bread from scratch’. Somehow that just feels like something that someone else would do.

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