White Wheat French Bread

two white wheat loaves made in a french bread mold

© 2011 by KV5R — Rev. March 20, 2011.

I wanted a soft, light bread that would make good snacks. The idea was a white French bread with just a touch of herbs and vanilla, but not too sweet. It was entirely successful.

This time I used weight measures for the flour and water because, well, it’s just simpler and easier that way—and I wanted to try a baker’s percentage to get the water right on the first try. It worked! Then I just used spoon measures for the extras. I also wanted to try a single-knead, single-rise process, to cut down on the time and get the crumb a little coarser. That worked, too!

Recipe

500 gm. (4 cups) bread flour
320 gm. (1¼ scant cup) water (65% B.P.)
1   Tbs honey
2   tsp rapid-rise yeast
1   tsp basil
1   tsp oregano
1   tsp coriander
½   tsp real vanilla extract
For the top: squeeze margarine

Weigh and mix honey and vanilla in warm water; add yeast; let stand 10 minutes.
Weigh flour, then add herbs.
Mix all. Add flour, if needed, to reach desired dough consistency.
Knead for 10 minutes. Divide and form into 2 logs and place into perf French mold.
Place in large plastic bag and let rise 1 hour or until it doesn’t spring back.
Top with squeeze margaraine.
Bake uncovered at 400°F for 40 minutes. Remove and cool.
Makes 2 1-pound French loaves (16 inches long).

Photos


Tops


Middles


Bottoms

Another pair of loaves:


This is a 50% whole-wheat sourdough I made later. Not worth an article, it didn’t rise well,
and it tasted funny (not so good). After several attempts, I conclude that sourdoughs
using a high percentage of whole-wheat aren’t worth the trouble.

Notes

  1. The breads came out very nice. Top (buttered) crust was soft; bottom crust was crisp. Crumb was soft and light.
  2. Flavor is like an honest white bread but with just a bit of herb.
  3. The ½-tsp vanilla was not noticeable, but I suspect it did add a bit of interest.
  4. I’m finding that I like breads better if they are not overly sweet, or sour, or otherwise flavored.
  5. The slices were too small for sandwitches, but great for dipping and finger-food snacks.

So there you have it! White French loaves for little snacks! Please stay tuned for more bread baking adventures in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by! —kv5r

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