Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Favorites:
Janneke's Whole Wheat Seeded Bread Recipe

Janneke's Whole Wheat Seeded Bread

Welcome to Friday Favorites, where A Year in Bread readers guest blog about their best bread recipes. If you bake a Friday Favorites bread at home, we hope you'll come back and share your experiences with us in the comments section of that post.

here to find out how you can become a Friday Favorites guest blogger. You'll find links to all of the previous Friday Favorites recipes at the end of this post.

This week's guest is Janneke, who says she has been "baking bread for some years now but have seriously been improving my baking skills after starting to read your blog this summer. Thank you for the bread making tips - I had so much fun baking with you. Now I make bread every other day in as many variations I can." (We love it when we're to blame for newly acquired bread baking addictions.) Janneke is a student at the university in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and writes about her European- and Mediterranean-influenced cooking at Limonana. She recently made her first sourdough starter.

Last summer I started trying all types of bread recipes - from fresh pita and Jerusalem bagels to Lebanese holy breads, beer breads, crusty white loaves and focaccia. Since it’s not easy to find whole wheat flour where I live, I left whole grain baking aside until I received a kilo of whole wheat flour as a gift. This might sound funny to some people, but to me it was a great present - though I ended up needing more than that first kilo for this experiment. The flour was ground by an old-fashioned but still operating Dutch windmill, so I knew it was good flour that deserved to be treated well.

Baking with white flour is different from baking with whole wheat, so I had some experimenting to do. I started by making a whole wheat bread the same way I make my white loaves, but the bread turned out very dense and heavy. I read somewhere that you should soak the flour in water overnight before using it to make the texture soft, but this trick didn't have the result I was looking for either. The seeds I glued on the crust of this loaf did add to the taste - toasted sunflower seeds are delicious.

For the third try, I decided to add some all-purpose flour and Italian 00 flour* to get a more soft and airy interior. Unfortunately I did not really look at the clock, and when the bread was halfway through its second rise I had to run out to an appointment. I wrote a detailed instruction list with a time table for my boyfriend to finish the bread, but he also lost track of time so the second rise was stretched to over 2 hours. It also baked a little too long in the oven, and I forgot to add salt (don’t forget salt, it’s really not tasty without it).

I did feel that structure-wise I was going in the right direction, so I went for another try. This time I made sure I did not have any appointments, and all the ingredients were present. I used the same quantities of flour, added salt, and decided to 'glue' a combination of seeds on the crust again.

It turned out to be my best bread so far, so I did not let go of the recipe and made it part of my routine. I love the lightly sweet and delicate yet full taste of the bread - and the soft interior with its thin crust covered in seeds.

Janneke's Whole Wheat Seeded Bread
Makes one small loaf

This is a versatile everyday bread, and I love to eat it with butter and homemade plum jam. If, like my boyfriend, you're more into a savory breakfast, try it with a scrambled egg. We also enjoy it for lunch with tahina and salad, and it makes great sandwiches.

1 package instant yeast (7 grams - 1/4 ounce - 2¼ teaspoons) or 14 grams fresh yeast
200 ml (1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons) lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup 00 flour (Italian fine flour)*
1 egg

Seeds (poppy, sesame, sunflower)

1. Empty the package of yeast in 200 ml of water, add honey and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Let this mixture stand until the yeast becomes active and crawls out of the cup.

2. In the meantime, put the whole wheat flour in a wide bowl and add the salt.

Porridge-like Mixture Before the First Rise

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir briefly until you have a porridge-like substance. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.

After the Mixture Has Doubled in Size

4. The mixture should look all bubbly and full of air. Press it back with your wooden spoon, and work it into a ball, still with the spoon. Add a handful of 00 flour and mix until incorporate in the mixture. Continue this until the mixture is to hard to handle with the spoon, then use your hands.

Tucked in and Ready for the Second Rise

5. Fold, press and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is soft and flexible. Continue to add flour until it is no longer sticky.

After the Second Rise, Ready to be Covered in Seeds

6. Dust a baking tray with polenta or flour, form the dough in a ball and place on the tray. Cover with the damp cloth and set aside for another hour or until doubled in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

8. Beat an egg with a little bit of water. Brush the dough lightly with the egg wash and cover with the seeds, then let the bread stand for another 10 minutes before placing it in the oven. Be gentle, don’t slam the door on it, we don’t want to lose all the air and softness we build up in the second rise. The egg wash will give the bread its shiny crust and will also work as 'glue' for the seeds.

9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Check if the bread is ready by knocking on the bottom; the sound should be hollow.

10. Let it cool on a wire rack.

* 00 flour (doppio zero) is a highly refined Italian flour. In Italy, flour is classified as wither 1, 0, or 00, and refers to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ have been removed. There is no one agreed upon substitute for 00 flour. Some people mix cake flour and all-purpose flour. In her book, The Italian Baker, Carol Field recommends that you mix 1 part pastry flour with 3 parts all-purpose flour. And many people simply use unbleached all-purpose flour.

Previous Friday Favorites:
Anne's Oatmeal Toasting Bread
Marielle's Overnight Bread/Burger Buns/Cinnamon Roll Dough
Kelli's Pain au et Noisettes ou Pacanes for the People

Beth's Fauxcaccia
Jennifer's Reliable Food Processor Challah Recipe

A Year in Bread Recipe Index

© Copyright 2009, the seedy bread baking blog where we think the secret to achieving world peace just might start with sharing homemade bread recipes—and freshly baked bread—across the miles.



Anonymous TiV said...

Hello! Is the other cup of whole wheat flour unnecessarily mentioned in the recipe? I think it should be only one cup - or?

11/14/2009 3:02 AM  
Blogger Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi TiV,
Thanks for catching that mistake - it's fixed now. I was moving around the ingredients so they were listed in the order used and forgot to delete that first cup of whole wheat flour. There should only be one cup of whole wheat flour in the recipe.

11/14/2009 6:59 AM  
Anonymous TiV said...

Thank you! :) Best regards from Finland!

11/14/2009 9:15 AM  

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