Whole Wheat Part I – failure

Yesterday I tried to make whole wheat bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which was a complete failure. 

I had a feeling early on that it wasn’t going to go well – the dough just felt too damn heavy.  The dough seemed to rise alright during the fermentation phase, but during proofing after shaping there was very little rise.  I let it sit for just over 3 hours in a nice, warm environment and nothing much happened.  When I started smelling alcohol coming off the dough I just decided to bake it, mainly to see just how bad it would turn out and also to see if I could learn anything.

I learned that it was pretty bad and that’s about it – imagine eating really dense whole wheat bread.  It doesn’t even sound appetizing.

So I’m making it again today, and I have to admit that my expectations aren’t all that much higher.  I did away with the egg and oil which were optional to the recipe anyway.  Last night I let the poolish starter sit for four hours to get it really going.  I really don’t know if any of this will help – only time will tell.  It’d be great if it turned out because for dinner tonight we’re having curry chicken salad sandwiches with french onion soup, and I’d really like to have the sandwiches on homemade bread.  But just in case I have a loaf of whole wheat bread in the fridge.

The only thing I can figure is that ingredients I bought just aren’t up to it, namely the oat flour i’m using as my coarsely ground grain.  But that’s all I could find.

And last week, while staying at my parents, I made a potato and rosemary bread (which much help from my Dad).  That bread came out, though I kind of messed up and put the roasted garlic into the dough too early, which led to me kneading the garlic too much which in turn led to a slight burnt garlic taste.  It wasn’t bad but I can and will do better.  I’ll probably make this next and document it here, despite what happens with this whole wheat bread.

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