Thursday, April 17, 2008

White Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Moist, easy to slice, and 100% whole wheat--no, these are NOT contradictory phrases! This whole-wheat loaf, made with our white whole wheat flour, is the ideal everyday bread, perfect for sandwiches, toast, and French toast. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make this bread are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.

1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm water
1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) orange juice
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/8 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) potato flour or 3/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) dried potato flakes
3 3/4 cups (15 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour*
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

*What IS white wheat flour, anyway? This is the #1 question our customers ask. First of all, it’s 100% whole wheat. It’s not "white" flour; it’s not bleached. It’s wheat berries ground into flour–nothing added, nothing removed. Period.

That said, white wheat is a different strain of wheat than traditional red wheat. Introduced to the market about 20 years ago, it’s milder flavored and lighter colored, and produces baked goods that reflect those attributes. Here at King Arthur, we substitute white whole wheat in many of our baked goods without anyone being the wiser; thus it’s great for those who say they don’t like whole wheat.

Combine all of the ingredients, and mix and knead–by hand, mixer, or bread machine–until you’ve made a smooth, fairly stiff (but not dry) dough. the dough won't feel particularly supple; it'll feel more clay-like. Don't worry, this is characteristic of 100% whole wheat yeast dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s expanded a bit. It won’t have doubled in size, but should feel puffy when you squeeze it. Note that dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer, which in turn will rise faster and higher than one kneaded by hand. So if you’re kneading by hand, you may want to let the dough rise longer than 90 minutes.a

Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log. Place it in the pan, smooth side up, cover the pan, and allow the loaf to rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, till it crowns over the rim of the pan by 1" to 1 1/2" or so. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Run a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Note: Increase the water by 2 tablespoons if you live in a very dry place; or if you’re making this bread during the winter, when flour tends to be drier.

©2007 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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