Whole Wheat Boule | Sponge method.

Whole wheat boule

Somewhat inspired by Yakitate!! Japan, I decided it was time to make some bread. Well, it was long overdue anyway, and I had wanted to get my hands in some dough badly. So I made a simple lean bread – a whole wheat boule. I started a sponge the night before with just yeast and whole wheat flour, but the sponge was not too spongey after 12 hours… I’m not sure if this is the flour because last time I made a sponge with white flour it seemed to have grown larger. Maybe I should have waited a little while longer. Anyway, I let this thing rise 3 times (plus being rather busy that day, each time it rose longer than I planned…). Turned out OK – wheaty, kinda chewy. The crust was actually very crispy and the crumb was much softer compared to breads I’ve made that didn’t have as wet a dough and didn’t rise as many times or as long. It also stayed soft the day after, unlike some whole grain breads that tend to get harder. I’m getting the hang of slashing, though there is room for improvement in every department. Anyway, makes good sandwich bread, would go nicely with spreads.

Whole wheat boule sliced

Sliced

 

Protocol follows…


Recipe: Whole Wheat Boule
Makes one small boule

Sponge
1c All purpose whole wheat flour
1t Active dry yeast
3/4c Warm filtered water

Dough
2c All purpose whole wheat flour
1/2c Warm filtered water
1t Salt

Glaze
1 egg white
pinch of salt

Protocol:
1. Activate yeast. Add to the rest of sponge ingredients, mix. Sponge should be liquidy. Let sit at room temperature in a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap, for 12 hours. (Or more. Mine didn’t nearly triple in size.)
2. Add dough ingredients to sponge, mix with a plastic or wooden spoon, reserving a bit of water or flour to form a tacky dough. I wanted a wetter dough, so it was all very sticky and took a lot of fidgeting until it held.
3. Knead sticky dough for about 13 minutes. Form into a ball and put in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp 2 hours.
4. By now, the dough should have risen nicely (to more than twice its size for me). Punch down, fold the dough twice onto itself, and let sit 45 minutes at room temp, covered.
5. Take dough out, knead briefly, fold and form into a boule, pinching dough together at the bottom.
6. Place on parchment paper and let dough rise another 1.5 hours. Preheat oven to 400F.
7. Prepare egg white glaze and brush on top. Slash the top of the dough quickly (I did 4 slashes forming a cross), and immediately put into oven. I then sprayed the oven with water.
8. Bake about 10 minutes, then reduce heat to about 375F and bake another 20 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. (The loaf reached a nice browness before this, so I covered it with foil.)
9. Cool on a wire rack (I let it cool completely) before slicing.

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