I posted this in another thread. I find this method works perfectly. I now have very light bread, using 100% whole wheat flour.
I learned to make light breads after using laurel's kitchen bread book. She has developed a way to make 100% whole wheat bread (whcih everyone says is impossible to make light) and it comes light and fluffy and just what you want. (I applied these techniques also when i make bread with white flour and it is amazing. but it works unbelievably well for 100%whole wheat bread.)
several things you shoudl keep in mind
1. the recipe you have could have some mistakes. You never know, some are typos, some are just because an author can make a recipe by eye, and then guess at the measurements.
2 sometimes the ingredients vary from place to place - the kind of flour, the kind of butter, etc.
3. that said, one trick that works amazingly well is that since butter or other fat that is melted and added with the liquid tends to make bread heavy, you need to keep it cool and then add it AFTER having kneaded the dough. When the dough is smooth and elastic, add COOL not warm butter, little slice at a time and knead it in (whether byu hand or by mixer dough hook). The gluten has already formed then and the butter is not absorbed into the flour, and actually seems to grease the gluten strands so they slide easier and rise. You can incorporate surprisingly large amounts of butter into the dough this way.
4. don;t "punch down" the dough at any point. Your whole purpose in life here is to preserve all the gluten strands intact. Gently pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl and press down.
5. fold the dough gently always towards inward - that is, when you make a ball to rise, you put the top side down on the floured board and pull the sides in folding them towards the center, THEN TURN IT BACK OVER so the same part is always on top. This preserves this outer gluten layer so the air won;t escape.
6. don;t over rise - forget time and forget doubling in bulk. Press a finger into the dough. If it leaves a hole it's done. If it fills in it's not. If it collapses all around the hole, you need to squash and re rise it, it's gone too far and will end up dry and cavernous inside
I also like to use buttermilk as all or part of the liquid, which makes a tender crumb.
I recently tried to put together laurel's kitchen method with beranbaum's bread bible method, and it came even better.
Mix well, beating a couple of minutes: all the liquid, half the flour, and half the yeast.
MIx the rest of the dry ingredients (salt, remaining flour and yeast) and sprinkle on top. Let it sit covered in plastic for 1 to 4 hours. Then proceed to knead it all together, by hand or machine. At the end knead in some cool butter and proceed as usual, with one rising in the bowl and one in the pan.
try these and probably your bread will be high and light
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