If you could see me write this post, you could see the excitement I am barely able to contain!! I baked bread with whole wheat only and successfully!! I had tried this earlier a couple of times, but not with great results. The very first time I tried was when I had barely baked one good bread, and I failed... miserably. I had chosen a recipe not apt for a beginner and yeast let me down too. The bread turned out as dense as the Amazon forests. After the next attempt, I realized after I failed, that different kinds of wheat take different quantities of liquid. So in-spite of using my no-fail yeast, and a no-fail recipe, the bread was a failure. Yesterday, again, I garnered enough courage to try baking with whole wheat, hoping my past few successful breads have given me some sense of handling dough. And am so glad, I finally baked some Orange And Chocolate Whole Wheat Rolls, which taste good and are good textured too !
I baked this bread yesterday and again today just to make sure that the recipe will surely work. And I will tell you what worked better for me. Thankfully, good sense prevailed (at last!) and I have baked in small quantities. I am going to stick to this quantity like super-glue if I try another bread recipe I am not sure about. Sensible - thinks hubby, who will not risk being politically incorrect when I am in my 'obsessed - baking' state. If you are learning your way with breads, I very seriously recommend this quantity. And for beginners like me, I will share another seemingly almost insignificant but, result altering lesson I learnt...
Here is what worked for me...
Whole Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 cups (scoop and level method) I have used Ashirwad Whole wheat flour(refer note)
Vital Wheat Gluten - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Sugar - 2 tablespoons
Instant Yeast - 1 1/8 teaspoon ( I use Gloripan)
Water - 1/2 Cup + 2 tablespoons
Orange Juice - 2 tablespoons
Oil -1 tablespoon
Grated Orange Zest - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
For the Filling :
2-3 tablespoons grated dark chocolate
1 teaspoon soft unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon soft unsalted butter
Procedure: Combine the flour, gluten and salt in a bowl. Mix well. In another large bowl, take the sugar and the yeast. Add 2 tablespoons warm water. Add the oil . Mix the orange juice and zest in a small bowl (this mixing is to make sure the zest does not get concentrated in one part of the dough). Add to the yeast mixture. Slowly add in the flour. Add the 1/2 cup of water and bring the dough together.
Oil your counter lightly and knead the dough for 12-13 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading whole wheat is harder I realized. This is a real workout for your arms...which is good for toning them.. and I will say this only till I get a bread machine to do all the dirty work;-). Do not add more flour. The dough is very slightly sticky, but not much, but a dough scraper will come in handy anytime..Do not over knead. Cover the dough with a little oil.
Now for the little lesson I learnt : When working with small quantities of dough keep the bowl (in which you will proof the dough) proportionately small. I think it helps us beginners gauge the volume of the doubled dough better. Its easier to make out the dough doubled from half to up-to the rim rather than from quarter of the bowl to half the level of the bowl. Don't you think so? If you wait patiently till the dough doubles, you have better bread..
So grease a small bowl with oil. Place the oiled dough inside and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Keep the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to proof. I normally keep inside my microwave turned off.In the meantime, get your tin greased and ready.
Grease the sides of a 10" * 6" rectangular tray and line the bottom with aluminum foil, grease it lightly.
Note: Whole wheat bread dough takes longer to double as compared to APF dough. Mine took 1 1/2 hours to double.
Once the dough doubles, punch it down gently. On a very lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 20 cm * 24 cm rectangle approximately. Try to keep the surface even. Spread the soft butter on the rectangle. Spread the grated chocolate / cocoa-sugar mixture on it evenly leaving a small edge all around. Roll it from the longer side to form a log, like a swiss roll. Seal the edges well, pinching it very lightly, just enough to seal. If you do not seal, your rolls will 'open up'.
Now we need to cut the roll into equal sized 8 rolls. Well, I took a long scale (which I got for the kitchen specifically), and made small marks at 3 cm intervals. Then cut it with my dough scraper. Whew! Decent somewhat even sized looking rolls!! One roll cheated me and became slightly smaller - the one at the end of the log...
Then cover the tray with a greased aluminum foil and keep in a warm place to double again. The rolls will look bigger than the ones in the picture below after almost 1 1/2 hours.
Towards the end of the second rise, pre-heat oven to 177 degrees C or 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes till the top of the rolls become golden brown in color. Do not over bake or the crust will become chewy.
Remove the tin from the oven. Brush the rolls with melted butter(optional). Allow the rolls to come to room temperature. And then watch them disappear!! At the moment the remaining of the better rolls I baked today are sitting 'reserved' in snack boxes of my kids:-)
Flour: As mentioned above, liquid proportion varies form one variety of wheat flour to another, hence I have mentioned the brand I used.
Another note for fellow beginners: If you would be starting off with a bread recipe with only APF, do memorize the feel and consistency of the dough when you mix the same. This will help when you experiment with different flours.
The rolls I baked yesterday were soft too, but today's rolls were much lighter and better. The recipe remains the same, but I think the dough doubling (as compared to probably not yet doubled yesterday's dough) made a definite difference to the texture of the rolls.And yesterday's rolls has a slightly chewy crust as I had over-baked by a few minutes. And made me take them out in 30 minutes today - softer rolls..
The rolls were sweet, but not very sweet. You could try using low fat ganache or regular ganache or melted chocolate for the filling.
These rolls go to Champa's Bake-Off
Also, to Susan's Yeast-Spotting