BBA Challenge Light Wheat Bread

I decided that before I start baking the next Bread Baker’s Apprentice recipe for the BBA Challenge, I would catch up on my BBA Challenge blog. My most recent BBA bread was Light Wheat Bread, a delicious sandwich loaf which was also great for toast.

This is a light wheat bread by virtue of the fact that the whole wheat flour makes up only about 38% of the total flour in the recipe. Mine was also made even lighter (at least in appearance) by using white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat is simply whole wheat flour made from white hard wheat, as opposed to red hard or winter wheat. It has the same taste and nutrition as other whole wheat flours; it’s just lighter in color.

I began by assembling my ingredients.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place

 You’ll note that I used shortening rather than butter. I also sprayed the prep bowl for the honey so the honey would pour out without sticking.

I mixed the dry ingredients in my KA mixer bowl, then added the honey, shortening and water. After mixing with the paddle for a minute, I switched to the dough hook and kneaded the dough for about 6 minutes.

Mixing Light Wheat

I allowed the dough to ferment in an oiled bowl for 2 hours, then formed my loaf and proofed the dough in the pan for 90 minutes.

Proofing Light Wheat

When the dough just started to crest the top of the pan, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. This is an important step that a lot of people cut short. It may surprise you to know that your oven is most likely not up to temperature when the beeper goes off to tell you it is done preheating. If you don’t believe me, get an oven thermometer (which you should have anyway). Check the actual temperature when the oven beeps; I can almost guarantee that it will not be up to the correct temperature yet. As a rule, I give my oven about half an hour to preheat — longer if I am heating my baking stone.

I put the loaf in the oven, baked it for 30 minutes, then rotated the pan and baked an additional 15 minutes.

Light Wheat Out of Oven

I cooled the loaf on a rack for a few hours, then cut into it to see the crumb.

Light Wheat Crumb

As you can see, the crumb is tight and soft, just what you want in a sandwich bread. And the taste is wonderful.

If you are accustomed to making white bread, try substituting just a little wheat or rye for some of the flour the next time you bake. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor just a little bit of whole grain flour can add.