Except then I left the recipe at work. And then when I looked it up again at home, I decided I didn't want to deal with the stand mixer. And I wasn't in the mood to experiment with bread dough in the Cuisinart (though it comes with a bread dough attachment thingy, and I'm sure it's not hard). Plus, I wanted to use all whole wheat flour, since that's what I had on hand (trying to go whole wheat, healthier, blah blah). So, um, scratch that. Try again. I found this recipe after a bit of Googling, and was pleased to find that it was a no-knead bread. I'm not super confident in my kneading skills, to be honest, and it was already almost 8:30pm anyway. Don't want to waste time kneading. I wasn't sure what to do about using whole wheat flour, since I've heard it can result in denser breads and such. I turned, of course, to Twitter. Some said to sift it, some said to simply use less, or use more water, or both...and after a while I just decided to go for it.
|this is what they are supposed to look like...|
picture via the original recipe
Surprise! Two loaves of flatbread!
picture via my iPhone
Well...it's bread. I'll just pretend that I meant to make flatbread, and all will be well in the world! This is where I turn to you, oh wise friends of life and the internet. Where did I go wrong? Here are my hypotheses - let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions for my next attempt at whole wheat bread.
- My yeast
may beis at least two years old. I've been told that yeast keeps forever in the freezer though, and it's been in the freezer the whole time! Could this really be my downfall? Should I try again with fresh yeast? It didn't do the yeasty-foamy-crazyawesome thing that yeast is supposed to do (which, I admit, was disappointing. I like the science-experiment-ness of it), but I thought maybe that was because the water had sugar in it (eh? does this matter?). The recipe didn't actually say it would do the yeasty reaction dance, so I thought maybe that was ok? And it definitely doubled in size when it was in the bowl!
- I used slightly less than 4c of whole wheat flour, and about an extra 1/3 (ish. I didn't measure well. oops.) cup of water or so, to try to balance it out or something? I don't know; I heard that might work? It seemed like it was all perfectly perfect when the ball of dough doubled in size in the bowl, but then when it was time to divide it into two balls and put them on the baking sheet, they got all flattened out like big, wet pancakes. Definitely not as compact and, well, risen, as the ones in the recipe post. They were also much wetter than I thought they should be, so maybe too much water?
- Whole wheat flour might just bake weirdly? Ok, so I know it's totally possible to make awesome bread with whole wheat flour (duh), so maybe I just did some wonky internet recipe mix-and-matching?
So...too much water? Not enough (or not new enough) yeast? A need to do something totally different when using whole wheat flour?
I tasted a small piece, and it was actually good. Perhaps I'll just stick with my "oh yeah, I was totally trying to make flatbread" story and enjoy it like a good foccacia. C'est la vie at Kim's Kitchen Sink!