If that title isn’t alliteration at it’s best I don’t know what is. I explored the mysterious world of bread baking again this afternoon by making a loaf of Walnut Whole Wheat Bread. I pulled the recipe from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking Book. This is a huge tome dedicated to all things whole grain and baked…imagine that. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from this book since I smuggled it home in a plain brown wrapper after being left alone in a Borders a bit too long; I told you never to let me be alone in a book store! In the past whenever I baked bread I always proofed the yeast, although this recipe didn’t call for it old habits die hard and I proofed away. My jar of yeast has been in the fridge for a while and even the expiration date wasn’t until December, I somehow felt better knowing it was active. What better way of finding out than mixing the yeast with the warm water and a bit of sugar. Well let me tell you that yeast was as active as a mouse on a cat farm (my daily reference to cats, yes). I swear I left it alone for only a few minutes and the next thing I know I have an elementary school science experiment erupting on my counter. I transferred it post haste to a bowl so I wouldn’t lose all my yeasty lava on the counter top and it continued to explode. I was so mesmerized by the yeast froth that I totally forgot about adding the walnuts to the loaf as I was mixing it. I had to knead them in afterwards. King Arthur had a good tip about working with whole grain bread dough, instead of adding extra flour to make it as smooth as white dough you should just put a bit of oil on your hands to keep it from sticking. The reason it’s more sticky than white dough is because of the bran and germ in the whole grain and adding more flour only makes for a heavy bread. I tried it and it worked! the dough was fluffy as a pillow an made one nicely rounded loaf. It has a really nice dense texture and tasted excellent fresh from the oven with a little Earth Balance spear atop. Tomorrow it’s the vehicle for a PB&J.
Is this yeast still active???
Into the mixer the yeast goes, with a splash of orange juice and brown sugar for sweetness, whole wheat flour for grainieness, a bit of oil and a dash of salt and that’s it
Whoops forgot something, what’s walnut bread without the walnuts?
Punch it down…gently though, no taking out aggression on this little loaf
Plop it in the pan
40 minutes later, ta da!