Friday, May 14, 2010

May 15th Bread Braid - Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I full Master Recipe
1 loaf of Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf, pgs 62-63
Turkish-style Pita bread with black sesame seeds, pgs 66-67
Whole Grain Garlic Knots, pgs 64-65

While we can not put the recipe on our blogs, due to our agreement with the authors of Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, we can share what and how we substituted with the group in our blogs. 

I've been using Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois two books, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day since they books came out.  I love the ease of the recipes, and the wonderful way they come out.  I very seldom buy bread anymore...sorry Wegmans! 


WWW (white whole wheat) for the whole wheat
for once I did NOT switch the AP (All Purpose) and WW (whole wheat) measurements
I've given up trying to get my husband, Ken, to eat whole wheat bread.  But I love it so much I make it for me and my neighbors and co-workers.  LOL

Due to all the studying I had to do for my final exam I did not have time to try round up black sesame seeds, and make the pitas or the garlic knots. 


Instead I did an experiement with the basic recipe and the method I formed the loaves and raised them. 

I started with my favorite way of forming the bread.  I flattened out a 1 pound ball of dough into a rectangle (ok, roughly that shape), then starting at one end I roll the dough tightly. 

I then put formed a one pound ball into a regular loaf shape and put it into a bread pan. 

In the picture below you can see that a 1 pound loaf does not fill this bread pan even after rising.  Since it's difficult to slash with a knife, ne impossible, I use a pair of scissors.

I've come to love Julia Child's meticulous methods and found that she rose her baguettes in a floured dish towel (the old fashioned kind with the tight weave such as I've used below).  She would form the baguette, and then lay it in the middle of the floured dishtowel, then fold the towel in half.  She would then hang the towel from a drawer and allow it rise.  I did not make this baguette long enough, but you get the idea. 

Months ago I also tried the towel method hung up in my laundry room.  That was a hoot!  I didn't hang it on the drawer because it was a seeded oat bread that was very heavy and I was afraid it wouldn't hang from the drawer without falling.


Here I am doing my best imitation of Julia Childs during an Oscar night celebration at work.  I wondered around the two floor call center like this saying in a loud boisterous voice "Bon Appetit!"  It was hilarious!  I could tell the folks that didn't cook or watch cooking shows!  They had NO idea who I was imitating and when I told them they went "Who's that!"  Such peasants!  LOL. 


Once the baguette had risen sufficiently, I gently rolled it onto the cookie sheet.  I sometimes use a cookie sheet instead of my baking stone just because I want to get everything on one surface easily and not have to transfer it.  I honestly find it comes out very well indeed. 

There is something so satisfying in seeing the bread pop open as soon as you slash it.  It's as if it is giving a sigh, like us women when we remove that tight pair of panty hose, or tight girdle (now called fancier names by marketing departments.  Watching the dough bloom before it even hits the oven is proof to me that the loaf will be a winner! 

As you can see below, they are all winners!  The baguette on the right is the rolled up version. 
Lower centrer is the one I hung in the dishtowel. 
Upper center is just an oval loaf let to rise in the pan and you can see how it spread out
and sort of flattened out. 
The left loaf is a bowl shape but you can see the lump on the right hand side. 
So which method or rising and shaping do I like best?  I prefer the rolled baguettes best with Julia Child's method second.  I like the bowls more than the oval shapes.  Next I am going to try one of our other HBin5 member's method.  Old Pop ( uses pieces of wood to give the rising loaves a higher support.  I think his loaves come out well with that method also. 

As I've said, Ken won't eat whole wheat bread, but Waneta, my neighbor, will!  It happened to be Mother's Day so I took her down a loaf.  It also happened that Don, one of her son's, was in town. 
So I took him a small loaf also. 
Don is an interior designer, and he set the beautiful table seen below. 

Waneta had to cut into her loaf as soon as the picture above was taken. 
Don then got a piece and started contemplating the taste and crumb.  He declared it an excellent loaf! 

I've got to say this is one of my favorite breads and I will continue to make it! 

Be sure to stop by Big Black Dogs ( to find the links to the other great bakers' versions of these great recipes! 

I made a full recipe


  1. Great job Ezzie...............your breads look great!!!

  2. Great post, you started my day out on a high note. Love the Julia child picture and your loafs look lovely. How sweet to bring your neighbors bread too. Seeing your commen on the slashing of a loaf in pan reminded me that maybe I don't need a new lame after all and that it's the angle and pan that is a hinderness.

  3. Ezzie, what a great demo and tutorial on forming bread! I've not seen Julia Child's method before.. brilliant! I agree with Don- your bread looks delicious.

  4. What a great post! Your scoring is beautiful and I love the idea of using the folded towel hanging from the drawer to let the bread proof. I'll have to try that! I like old-fashioned methods.

  5. oh wow i adore how your loafs look and my hubby is the same way

    LOL Rebecca

  6. What beautiful loafs! You do a mean impression of Julia-- I love it!

  7. I love your Julia impersonation! Glorious.

    These breads look delicious...I don't know how you got them to rise vertically so much...mine always kind of spread out.

  8. Ezzie,
    Thanks for the tips on making a pretty loaf.
    I can't wait to try your Julia Child method.
    My family thinks I am nuts already, wait until they see my bread hanging in a dish towel.

  9. What a great post, and such good information. I liked the rolled loaf look best also. I am going to have to try that. Great picture of you as Julia, I can't believe some people don't know who she was!

  10. You really did a great job with this. The bread looks really wonderful. This was my first visit to your blog but I'll be back often. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Thanks for the shout out. Loved you as Julia--Meryl gets to play you, playing Julia, in the movie. I will have to try your hanging towel technique, though I can see in it the seeds of a disaster.

  12. what fun! All those methods of letting the dough rise. I had no idea. Every one of them look fantastic :)

  13. I am interested in all your different techniques for shaping the loaves. What exactly is the purpose to hanging the loaf? It is to keep the shape so it doesn't spread out, or to keep the loaf from sticking to a surface? Your scoring is impressive, too!

  14. Hi Clarice! Great questions! Baguettes are usually round and hanging it on the drawer in a towel, the bread maintains a rounded shape, and the towel helps to keep the dough rising up as opposed to out. It's a great technique and no special pans needed. By using the old fashioned tight weave towels you can flour them so the dough doesn't stick.