Baking on Friday: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

If you like baking, I don't know if there's anything more satisfying than home-made bread.  Today, I'm trying the recipe in the March/April, 2011 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine.

This was quite an involved recipe, and it took two days to pull it off.  First, I had to make a biga and a "soaker."  From what I understand, the biga gives the rising process a head start.  It was simple enough to make, but needed to sit covered overnight.  This recipe contains wheat germ, and the purpose of the "soaker" was to give the bread better flavor, but it also softens the wheat germ so that it doesn't cut the gluten strands as the bread rises.  That also had to sit covered and refrigerated overnight.  After that, it was a simple matter to get up this morning and mix it all together.  I use my mixer and dough hook for most of the kneading, but this bread required just a little hand-kneading.  I love how soft bread dough is and how nice and warm it feels in my hands.  It required three rises, total, and then into the oven. 

Is there anything more heavenly than the smell of baking bread?  Yum!  Aren't those beautiful loaves?

Update:  I'm told that you may not be able to access the recipe on the link I've given you.  If you want it, and you have trouble, let me know, and I'll get the recipe to you via email.

3 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Sounds delectable, Barbara. Perhaps one day OO and I will try. We bought the yeast....

Anonymous said...

Yes, those are beautiful....I'm on my way with the butter and homemade jam!
Jacque in SC

free indeed said...

Your loaves look lovely! My oldest daughter is into making her own bread and even has her own grinder to make her flour fresh every time...quite the health enthusiast..well she is a registered diatician after all :) She still hasn't found the perfect sandwich bread made from whole wheat and I thought this one might be THE one, but was disappointed to find she would have to subscribe to get it. I sent her the link but I doubt she will...she's a stay at home mom so finances are limited. Thanks for this post though...she may be able to glean some info from here and the recipe site to help her on her way! :)