Tuesdays with Dorie: Whole Wheat Loaves
September 18, 2012 § 16 Comments
The first thing I did was cut this recipe in half, and now I regret that decision. We are, in general, not whole wheat eaters in this house. I foresaw having two loaves that would need to be eaten as a waste of ingredients. How much bread does one really need? If I had only known that this bread is not your grocery store cardboard variety. Only using half whole wheat flour along with honey and molasses made the loaf un-typical as can be. Yes, I used molasses in mine simply because malt extract was nowhere to be found in this suburbia.
Someone recommended a slice could be breakfast food. I have fallen in love with butter and honey as a spread. Now, this is all I want to eat every morning and the loaf gets smaller and smaller each day. Baker’s remorse has set in. Two would have been better.
Just as you live and learn, you bake and learn as well. The dough hook for the KitchenAid had never been used before. You can tell by the way the steel still shone brightly (a perk of having the 90th anniversary model). I’m similar to a helicopter parent when it comes to my mixer. I watch it carefully for signs of all kinds: signs of wear and tear, of neglect or malfunction. When the top began to jump and bang loudly against the bowl, I had had enough. I was not about to break the nicest appliance in my kitchen. Onto the floured board went the dough and a bit of good ‘ole hand kneading finished the job. Maybe I over-reacted. Maybe that’s just what happens when a machine encounters lots of heavy material. But, I didn’t want to risk it. Jim had bought me the mixer for Christmas one year and that candy-apple-red beauty is my pride and glory. We’ve been through many batters and creams and now breads together. Jokingly, I like to say it is my Toy Story type of friend, with a mind of its own and a personality kept hidden until I leave the kitchen floor.
Next time I make this I might just go the traditional route like my grandmothers before me, all by hand with the infamous “well” in the middle for the wet ingredients. I’ve always loved the way dough feels when it starts to form under your fingers. The warm wetness of the yeast squishes through the flour. A good baker should get to know that sensation. The palm and fingers are mightier tools of kitchen creations anyway.
For the recipe, check out Baking with Julia or this week’s hosts: