Every loaf of wheat bread I make is so heavy and dry. Even when I use 4 tsp of Vital Wheat Gluten. Any suggestions to make it lighter and less dry? It could also stand to be a little sweeter. Any suggestions?
You need 1Tablespoon gluten per 1Cup flour. (not teaspoon)
Use honey for sweet and a little more liquid.
Do you use enough yeast? My recipes vary from 2t-3 1/4t
Whole grain breads ARE going to be heavier. Forget about the texture of any store-purchased bread. whole wheat/whole grain breads are going to be firm and tight. That's the beauty of homemade bread. It satisfies.
You can try replacing some of the heavier wheat flour with some lighter sifted bread flour. (You'll need to sift the wheat flour too.) I use Splenda when I can to try to keep the calories and carbs down, but a small amount of molassas can help sweeten too. Try experimenting with different amounts until you get one you like. You might try using fruit juice for liquid; it can sweeten while mixing in the flours. Good Luck and have fun eating your experiments.
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If you use whole wheat flour without any bread flour (bread flour is marked on the bag) you will have small dense loaves unless you add wheat gluten. The product "vital wheat gluten" is for sale in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you don't want to add gluten then you will need to use at least 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat flour to get a larger loaf. Those are the 2 choices to make large loaves using a lot of whole wheat flour.
Yes, many machines warm up a little when you choose the wheat setting, also if your manual shows the cycle times for the various programs you will probably notice a different Knead time (more) vs. the basic program and that is because whole wheat flour lacks enough gluten to make a nice, large, soft loaf, so to compensate it has a longer knead. Even with that though your whole wheat loaves are probably going to be shorter than a 100 whole wheat loaf.
Many bakers ( me included) add purchased wheat gluten and add that to the flour, (be sure to remove and equal amount of w. wheat flour from the recipe if you do this) to get a softer, higher, better texture loaf.
That is usually part of the whole wheat program. I don't know if you can program it out or not but you could compare the program with the "basic" program and try using that instead if you think it might work. To have a decent loaf you may have to replace some of your whole wheat flour with bread flour and perhaps some vital wheat gluten and experiment to see if you get a good loaf. Many bread makers have the rest period to start their whole wheat program.
Bread not rising correctly is complicated since there are so many factors involved more than just proofing temperature. You should hear a short click once in a while as it cycles the heater on for just a second at a time. You won't notice any considerable heat since too much heat will kill the yeast. Bread not rising correctly is normally due to the gluten not being developed in the bread or the flour was poor quality without much gluten to begin with. You can try adding some "Vital Wheat Gluten" to each batch to help and at the same time adjusting the yeast up by a half teaspoon at a time. Also keep in mind that the salt you add to the dough will ****** the yeast. Try and limit the salt to a teaspoon per loaf. Too little salt and the taste of the bread will go bland on you. Another aid to rising is to add some Diastatic Malt Powder to assit in the rise. And lastly, remember that you whole wheat flour will never rise as high as white flour.
My bread machine recommends stopping the machine about ten minutes in, and re-starting. The extra kneading/mixing is supposed to help. I've been doing that, and never have a problem with whole wheat bread.
I have a very healthy recipe. Makes two loaves so you will have to divide in two.
13 oz. water (warm)
3 3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 T oil
2 T dry milk
2 T vital wheat gluten
3 T honey
1 1/2 t salt
1 T active dry yeast
When machine beeps add if desired:
1/2 cup golden flax seeds
1/4 cup unroasted sunflour seeds or sesame seeds (or both)
Put into machine and go. I usually set it on dough cycle and put into pans for second rise 50min in a warm, draft free area. Preheat oven to 400 place bread in oven after second rise, reduce heat to 375 and bake 30-35 min.
You can find both flour and gluten with Bob's Redmill products
Hi Mindy.......it takes 30 minutes to PREHEAT this silly machine for wheat bread. I thought I did something wrong, too........I stopped it twice after it preheated for about 15 minutes. I did not want to waste anything so I let it stay in the machine.....I just went to check the machine and it started after 30 minutes of preheating.
Likely, your loaf is too wet.
This can happen with as little as 1 Tablespoon too much liquid. It's hard to describe "the look," but what I learned to do was to watch the bread during the initial mixing cycle (after the paddle begins to turn full circles). The dough should not stick to the side of the pan while mixing, and it should look elastic, but not shiny. If it looks shiny, there's too much liquid in relationship to flour. I add a tablespoon of flour at a time during the mixing cycle, until I get a good consistency.
There's nothing wrong with the taste of the sunken loaves. We usually just shrug and eat them anyway.