Wait? Is it whole wheat? The bag just says wheat. I am assuming it’s whole wheat because it’s brown. I know that’s a dangerous assumption. But I do like to live life on the edge, after all.
Either way, this post is the natural follow up to this post. It just so happens that I was lucky enough to receive this bag of flour a few months ago in my winter CSA share from Clarion River Organics. Honestly at the time I was like, “What the hell am I going to do with this?” Question answered. KAPOW!
This follows the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day master recipe, just like the white bread. The recipe is a little different for whole wheat bread. More water and a magical ingredient called vital wheat gluten. Here is the recipe.
I like to leave notes for myself right on containers. Cause I forget stuff. A lot. Dry erase markers to the rescue.
What I learned:
- I will admit, I had no idea what vital wheat gluten was. Apparently, it keeps the bread dough from becoming too dense. It’s pretty much wheat flour, with the starch removed, so just the protein is left. Pretty cool. You can read all about it on the recipe page. Or you can just Google that shit.
- Oh yeah, I also discovered that wheat gluten is what is used to make seitan. Which of course is used in all kinds of vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute. Is home made seitan in my future? Could be! I think it would be pretty fun to try! Maybe I could whip up some mock duck or something.
Mmm. Seeds. You can put any combo of seeds on the crust that you want. Or no seeds. My seed mixture contained caraway, poppy, sesame, and flax. I realized later that I also have sunflower seeds. DOH! Could have added those too.
The bread didn’t rise as much as the white bread that I made, so the loaf was a little flat. And the slices were kind of long and thin. But it tastes awesome and has a great texture. It’s substantial and chewy without being too dense. Go go vital wheat gluten!! We’ve been eating this pretty much every day since this came out the oven!
I think one of the biggest challenges in making home-made bread (besides the obvious: just making it. Duh.) is producing an end product with a useful shape. A loaf of bread with slices that are conducive to sandwich-making. It’s kind of hard to make a sandwich on bead this skinny. All your sandwich contents are wider than the bread. I think the next time I make this, I might try putting it in a loaf-pan so that the end product is more square. Squarier.
As I mentioned , the wheat flower came from Clarion River Organics.