Detailed instructions on how to make whole wheat bread in a bread machine. 60% whole wheat is approximately the limit for high rising yeast bread. The whole wheat gives a very nice flavour to this healthy inexpensive bread that is perfect for sandwiches.
Freshly Baked Light Crust 60% Whole White Wheat Bread Loaf (770 g, 1 lb 11 oz). Makes 6 sandwiches.
This is the most common bread recipe I use. It has a good balance between healthy whole ground hard white wheat and high rising bread flour. The hard white wheat keeps the bread light in color and more appealing to children than red wheat. When 100% hard white wheat is used, the loaf doesn’t rise enough and I find ittoo dense.
This center slice shows the normal flat top achieved by 60% whole wheat. As the percentage of whole wheat is reduced, the top will form more of a bulged mushroom shape with a slighly lighter texture. The diagonalgap in the bottom is created by the bread machine’s impeller. Only the middle 2 or 3 of 12 slices have thisgap at the bottom.
The best method to obtain consistent results is to measure the ingredients accurately by mass (weight).Inexpensive kitchen scalescan be found in most majorretail stores.
300grams lukewarm water (300 milliliters or 1 1/4 cups) 30 grams white granulated sugar (30milliliters or 2 tablespoons) 24 grams canola oil(30milliliters or 2 tablespoons) 4 grams iodized table salt (8milliliters or 1 1/2 teaspoons) 300 grams hard white wheat (450 milliliters or 1 3/4 cups dry measure after grinding into flour) 200 grams white bread flour (300 milliliters or 1 1/4 cups dry measure) 8grams yeast for bread machines (10 milliliters or 2 teaspoons)
The water is required to activate the dormant yeast into a live stage. Ordinary tap water is normally fine to use. If you use a water softener that adds salt, you may have to reduce the quantity of salt added to this recipe. Very hard water may interfere with the yeast, but it is worth attempting a loaf before purifying the water. The temperature should be lukewarm: neither cold nor warm to the touch. This is easy to achieve by running both the hot and cold water taps into a large measuring cup. If the water is too cold, the yeast will reproduce slowly and the bread will not rise very high during the normal bread machine cycle. If the water is too hot, the yeast could be killed and will not leaven the bread. It is possible to use milk in powdered, evaporated or fresh form with any desired percentage of milk fatin various proportions with the water as long as the total liquid quantity is approximately300 grams.
The sugar is the primary food for the yeast and important in creating the high rise of the bread. Other sweetening ingredients such as brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup and honey can be used to feed the yeast. If a sweetener cannot be utilized by the yeast, a low rise dense bread will result. The yeast will be able to use the whole wheat, but the rise will be unimpressive and will require a longer rise time, perhaps as long as a full day. Artificial or low calorie sweeteners can be used to flavour the bread, as long as attention is paid to a method of leavening the bread, such as a sourdough mixture or a very long rise time.
Nearly any type of fat or oil can be used. Not using a fat or oil results in a “French” bread. The fat or oil gives a more moist and chewy texture to the bread. Canola oil is the least expensive of the “heart healthy” oils. Corn oil is another very commonly used oil. Vegetable shortening,butter and olive oil are also frequently used. They should be substituted on a mass basis and to taste.
The salt controls and stabilizes the rise of the yeast and enhances the taste of the bread. Any type of salt can be used. Sea salt, iodized or non iodized, coarse, fine or ground rock salt, either sodium chloride or potassium chloride are all fine. If no salt is used, the bread will rise very high and collapse during the baking. This may still be preferable to unleavened dense bread if you have been advised to reduce your salt intake.
Whole Wheat Flour
The whole wheat flour contributes the healthiest, nutritious and best tasting component of the bread. The best source of whole wheat flour is to grind the whole wheat berries (seeds) yourself.There are four basic types:
Hard White Wheat – Recommended for light colored bread. It may require special ordering or you can purchase directly from a wholesale supplier such asAnita’s Organic Grain & Flour Mill. Hard Red Wheat – Readily available in organic or health food stores. Soft White Wheat – Not recommended as it has low gluten content and won’t rise very high. Soft Red Wheat – Not recommended as it has low gluten content and won’t rise very high.
Whole wheat flour normally available in supermarkets usually comes from hard red wheat. It has a limited storage life of about one year before the oils gradually turn rancid. If the whole wheat flour is odourless, then it is fine to use.
If a slight sour odor is detected, then the bag of flour should be used as quickly as possible.
Grind as finely as possible:
White Bread Flour
The white bread flour contributes a high fraction of the gluten which causes the bread to rise. A dense and less appealing bread will result if white bread flour is not used. Bread flour is made from high gluten hard wheat. All purpose flour is ground from a mixture of high gluten hard and low gluten soft wheats. Pastry flour is low gluten soft wheat.Look for “Bread Flour” or “Best For Bread” when purchasing the flour you intend to use in your bread. All purpose flour could be used by exchanging the ratio to 40% whole wheat flour and 60% all purpose white flour.
Yeast is used to leaven the bread with small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. It is possible to leaven bread using only chemical or mechanical means, but the biological processes that occur in yeast are generally the most economical and best tasting to use. There are 3 typical forms of yeast available to use:
Dried and powdered yeast often stored in either a dark glass jar or plastic pouch A brick of pressed moist yeast packaged similarly to foil wrapped butter and kept refrigerated Sourdough mixture
The most readily available in a supermarket is the dried and powerdered form. You should start with the least expensive available and later experiment with the other types.
It is important to follow the order of ingredient addition in order to achieve consistent results. The most important is to keep the yeast separate from the water to ensure the water isn’t too hot or too cold when they do come into contact. First, assemble the kneading impeller into the metal mixing container and place inside the bread machine.Pour the water in.Add the sugar, salt and oil.
Next, add the whole wheat flour. The photo below shows unbleached hard white wheat flour. Purchased whole wheat flour is usually bleached a little paler. Hard red wheat will be darker and have a more reddish tone.
After adding the white bread flour, make a small depression in the top. Pour the yeast into this small depression.
Bread Machine Programming
Mixing Start Delay
If you want your bread to be fresh and hot when you wake up in the morning, or just in time for a meal, then the delay timer is useful. It worksby adding no action minutesto the beginning of the program, before the mixing starts.
Most bread machines have some variations between quick, normal and slow. These variations are based upon the length of time allowed for the yeast to cause the bread to rise. Since whole wheat breads usually take longer to rise, the longest cycle available is the most appropriate for this 60% whole wheat. My Toastmaster Model TBR15CAN calls it a “WHOLE WHEAT Program” with the following process (all times are in minutes):
|Process||Total Time||1st Knead||1st Rise Time||2nd Knead||Final Rise||Bake Time|
After the baking, there is a 60 minute period where the heating element keeps the bread warm. You may remove the bread at any time during or after this warming period.
Manual Time Profile
If you are having trouble with heavy loaves that don’t rise very high, then manually timing the rise is recommended. After putting in all the ingredients, select the “dough” profile. The machine will mix the dough for about half an hour and stop. The dough will rise until you enter a baking time. Ensure you check inside after a few hours. If you forget, the dough can rise all the way up and contact the inside of the lid, where it may not bake properly. It should still shrink away from the lid when lifted: in the worst case the top won’t bake and you just have to cut the top away after baking. As a starting point, set the bake time for 60 minutes and start it when you are satisfied with the rise level.
Most bread machines permit a selection of light, medium or dark crust as a function of the length of baking time. If you normally remove the bread immediately after baking, a darker crust is the usual selection. If you leave the bread in the machine for extended periods after the baking is complete and the warming cycle is active, a lighter crust is the normal selection. Before you press the start button, ensure the bread machine is either on a floor, or pushed to the back of the counter as it may move around and could fall off of a slippery counter.
A few minutes after the bread machine starts the first knead cycle, have a look inside to see if any of the dough is stuck to the corners of the mixing container. Just push this dough downwards.
The photo above is very early in the first knead cycle. Large pieces of dough like this on the upper left side usually slide down by themselves and get mixed up by the second knead cycle. It’s not a problem if you don’t push the pieces down: there may be a few small patches of dough stuck to the outside of a baked loaf that can be easily pried off and discarded.
During the second knead, the dough ball should look smooth and bounce back slowly when pressed lightly by a finger. If the dough ball is very lumpy or has parts not fully mixed together, consider adding a small amount of water. If the dough ball is very soft and sticky, consider adding a small amount of flour and using less water during the next batch.
The final rise just before the baking cycle looks like the photo below. This batch of dough could have used a longer rise time, or a lower percentage of whole wheat,as evident from the wrinkles and lack of slightly convex top.
The bread machine will normally make an alarm or beeping sound when the bake cycle is complete. You may remove the metal container using oven mitts and shake the bread out onto a cooling surface, such as the spiral tops on an electric stove.
It is also common to leave the bread in the machine until it cools enough to handle the metal container and to shake the bread out with bare hands.If the bread is hot, it is normally not possible to cut it until it cools enough to hold with bare hands. A hot loaf is very soft and difficult to cut evenly.
The best way to cut the bread is with an electric knife in such a manner that each piece has a section of the upper crust.The crusts in contact with the metal container are very chewy and are sometimes cut off and discarded or composted.Once the loaf has been cut, it should be stored in a new plastic bag that is loosely twisted to keep air out.
If you don’t like the chewy side crusts and don’t wish to discard them, consider purchasing a baguette making bread machine. A baguette machine has a pair of nonstick coated trays that sit in the machine in place of the rectangular mixing container. Since only the bottom and a portion of the lower sides is in contact with the metal, nearly 2/3 of the baguette surface bakes as thin crispy top crust. The disadvantage is that the 4 baguettes are small and require much greater labour to form and place in the trays after rising. Another article will be available soon on my baguette machine.
The most common problems with this type of bread are listed in the table below:
|The loaf didn’t rise very high and is too dense||Reduce the ratio of whole wheat and use a greater proportion of bread flour
AND / OR
Manually time the rise for up to 12 hours
|Whole wheat ratio reduced, but the loaf is still too dense||Increase the quantity of yeast to a maximum of 16 grams, or try a different brand|
|The top of the bread is concave (the sides are higher than the center)||Use more salt to a maximum of 8 grams|
|The top of the bread is excessively convex (the top is much higher than the sides) and may have touched the lid of the bread machine and not baked||Use less yeast|
|The top of the bread is lumpy and has very dry or overbaked spots||Increase the amount of water|
|The top of the bread did not bake very brown and the inside is too chewy||Reduce the amount of water|