You may have started to notice that when it comes to bread, we like it to get as close to 100% whole grain as we possibly can. We both think that whole grain bread tastes better, and it is also more nutritious and satisfying. Everyone who starts down the road of going towards 100% whole grain will have lots of funny stories of baking a loaf that tastes sort of like cardboard, and could be used as a doorstop. We'd like to save you some of that frustration by sharing a few things that we've learned ourselves. You will be delighted, if not thrilled with the results.
The following recipe is a good illustration of the things we've figured out so far. First off, it is not 100% whole wheat. (We're still working on that, and Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads book has been indispensable in that process.) This one is abou 66% whole grain, which we think is pretty awesome.
The key details to getting a high whole grain loaf to have great rise and great taste is to use a blend of sprouted whole wheat and really freshly milled whole wheat flour, as well as an extra long ferment time. You can bump the flavor factor up even higher by making your own whole wheat starter, but you'll still get great results by using dry yeast.
1 cup white flour (organic + unbleached)
1 cup fine grind whole wheat flour (check out Baker Miller's selection, especially if you are in Chicago)
1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour (we especially like Arrowhead Mills sprouted flour)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup blueberries + cranberries, or any other dried berries
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. yeast
12 oz water
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