As part of the move to eating as unprocessed as we can, I have been grinding Hard White Wheat Berries, which I buy in 25 lb bags. I freeze the wheat berries and grind in my Vitamix‘s dry container. 1 minute to fresh flour! I don’t save any money, the wheat berries and the ground flour both cost $20 for 25 lbs when I buy them direct from Bob’s Red Mill, the key is the wheat berries produce a fresher product. But the one issue with whole wheat flours, especially home ground, is that it is dense. Weighing your flour is very important. Small scales (digital) are not too pricey and tuck away, I picked mine up at Costco years ago for under $20. Anyhow, a cup measured of flour can be as much as 5.6 ounces (or more), weighed is 4 ounces. This can lead easily to dry bread! So weigh, don’t measure. Need an easy resource on weights? King Aurthur has one you will want to bookmark.
To show the difference I made two loaves of Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread with Squash from The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living, with the first loaf using scooped flour, the second loaf using weighed flour. In the case of not weighing the flour, I had to add over an extra ¼ cup of water and the dough did not rise as high the first time. While this is correctable in an easy recipe such as this, if you are baking tender quick breads such as banana, you risk getting a lead loaf o’ bread. So weigh the flour, you won’t regret taking the time.
I weighed the bread loaves after baking: the one without weighed flour comes in at 35.8 ounces, the loaf with weighed flour? 28 ounces. 7½ ounce difference is quite a bit!
As for the photo, the larger loaf on the left is the heavier one.
As for the vegetable choice in the bread? Use what you like and have on hand. Canned works great, be sure it is vegetable only, no added thickeners or sweeteners. Canned pumpkin, butternut and Organic Sweet Potato Puree all work well.
Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread with Sweet Potatoes, adapted from pages 541-542
- 3 cups white whole wheat (12 ounces)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup purée cooked squash or sweet potatoes, such as a can of Organic Sweet Potato Puree
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the sweet potatoes and water, stir until blended. The dough should be quite wet, almost like a batter. If not, add in a bit more water.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot to rise for two hours.
Add half the oil to a 9″ by 5″ bread pan, swirl to coat. Gently scrape the dough into the pan and settle it evenly. Drizzle the remaining oil on top and cover back up with the plastic wrap. Let rise for another 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the bread for about 45 minutes (check with an instant read thermometer for an internal temperature of 200°). Knock the bread out on a cooling rack, let cool fully before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf, store wrapped.
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