March 02, 2011
The current issue of Cook's Illustrated (March/April 2011) includes a recipe for Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread that looked really, really good. It's a fairly complex and time-consuming recipe, but the promised results - a hearty wheat bread with a soft texture - sounded worth the time and effort, so I made a batch this past weekend.
Some of the work was done the night before, giving the major components of the bread - bread flour mixed with yeast and water and whole wheat flour and wheat germ soaked in milk - time to develop. After mixing these components with some honey, more yeast and a few other ingredients, everything was blended into one dough, which went through rounds of kneading, rising, turning, shaping and rising again, after which the loaves went into the oven. The recipe printed in CI makes enough dough for two loaves.
My bread never did rise quite as much as suggested by the recipe, despite giving the dough more time to rise than called for. The problem there was my own making, as I didn't have rapid-rise yeast and went with ordinary yeast. As a result, my loaves weren't as puffy as the ones discussed and pictured with the recipe article. We still found the texture quite pleasant and light, though, and the flavor was excellent.
We've been eating our way through one loaf, while I wrapped the second one and froze it for later. Once the second one is finished off, I'll probably be making this one again.