All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Ginger crust and dried Peppers

Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day 100% Whole Wheat Bread 
with Ginger crust and dried Peppers

Long before they wrote "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day", the "5min/day" authors (Hertzberg & Francois) wrote the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day", in which they did include a 100% Whole Wheat Bread.  In HBin5, the authors seemed particularly enamoured with Vital Wheat Gluten, which they added to most of their breads.  But in ABin5, they didn't: and so, this much simpler, enriched, no-knead bread still exists for those of us who are looking for quick and easy, but healthier, whole grain loaves, without all that added gluten.

Day 1

 A nice rise after a couple of hours

Enriched with honey, oil and milk, this bread tastes good on its own.  But today I wanted to try my latest thought (building on the last bread I made), which is to include some ginger on the crust.  Actually, I sprinkled lots of ginger-laced flour all over the place when I was making this, inside and out.  I also decided to put some dried green and red peppers and dried mushrooms on the rolled up interior of this loaf.

I probably should have measured the ingredients of flour and ginger that I rolled my dough in, but alas, I didn't.  Let's just say that I just used lots.  Perhaps 3/4 cup of flour, and perhaps 1/4 cup of ginger; what does that weigh?  Who knows?

The other ingredients weights that I used are given here, in case I want to figure out the baker's percentages and play with this a little.

  • 376g lukewarm water
  • 379g lukewarm milk
  • 21g granulated yeast
  • 11g kosher salt
  • 150g honey
  • 53g olive oil
  • 1013g whole wheat flour
If you just count the water and milk, there is 755g of hydration (a 75% hydration dough); but I think that the honey and oil should be added to this amount too, so the total is rather 958g.  That means that this dough is effectively 95% hydration.  That's a pretty sloppy dough to work with.  One certainly doesn't get the nice gluten cloak that the video on shaping has, even with his rye bread.  Furthermore, the high bran content in this bread wrecks havoc on the formation of gluten, so it tears very easily.  If I hadn't sprinkled the extra gingered flour on the loaf, it probably wouldn't have been nearly so tight as it was.

These no-knead breads are so labor intensive (not), it makes one tired just thinking about it

Day 2

As for the peppers and mushrooms: I had these dried ingredients sitting around in jars close at hand. I had been experimenting with my excalibur dehydrator, and these bits and pieces of dried veggies I didn't have a recipe for.  I thought I'd incorporate them into this bread.  I probably could have put more on the dough when I was rolling it up.  I didn't measure or weigh them either.

I rolled up the dough using the technique featured in this new-to-me video.  Frankly, I didn't think it would work on these no-knead 100% whole wheat breads -- and it certainly doesn't look as neat as the video tells it -- but it works, to make a tighter loaf.  As I rolled it up, I added more gingered flour on all the surfaces.

When the gingered loaf is baking, it smells great.  But the strange thing is -- and this I didn't expect -- when it came out of the oven it smells more like sweet peppers than ginger.

I could barely wait an hour before cutting into it.  It was still warm when I tried it.

Very nice.

 You can see the odd piece of dried sweet pepper sticking out of the crumb.  Not that many, though.

Notes to Myself
  • What if you don't include all that extra honey and oil?  What if you just have water, or water and milk?  The authors of this recipe seem to think that whole wheat on its own requires something to take away the bitterness of the bread: do you believe that?  What else besides simple carbohydrates (sugars) would do this?  Could you add more seeds, more nuts, more dried vegetables?  Which ones?
  • The gingery crust does taste great, to my tastebuds.  But what other spices might also be nice?   

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