17 January 2020

High fibre white loaf recipe

I've been working on a new loaf - a high fibre white. I usually make either white or rye loaves and I do that because Hanno loves rye bread and our main toast loaf is white. When I plan to make something regularly, I want to be able to easily buy the ingredients in bulk. I can get good white bread flour at the local supermarket and good rye flour at an organic supermarket that I have to drive to get to.

Recently I've been adding extra fibre to the loaves, using mainly milled rolled oats, but in this loaf, I also added rice bran. The oats add moistness and the rice bran gives a slightly nutty flavour. Both the fibre additions make for a slightly heavier loaf which is absolutely delicious as sandwiches on the day it is baked and makes really good toast.  Of course, if I have ends left over I either add them to a bag of frozen bread I turn into bread crumbs when I need them, or, when they're soaked in milk, they make up a high protein extra meal for the chooks. That will help you cut down on your feed bill as it provides a nutritious boost for your hens.

I combine the ingredients and knead the dough in the bread maker on the dough setting. After the first rise, I take it out of the machine, knead and shape, add it to a bread tin to bake in the regular oven.

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast stirred into ½ cup of cold water  <-- do this first so it's fermenting nicely before you add it to the flour mix

  • 1 teaspoon salt - add this to the bucket first so it doesn't mix with the yeast
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats that have been finely processed 
  • 3 level tablespoons rice bran
  • plus enough water to make a dough that is more wet than dry
If you're a new baker, or not confident baking bread, add 2 teaspoons of Wallaby bread improver to the mix.

After you start the yeast fermenting in the cup, leave that to one side and add the following to the bucket in the order it's written: salt, flour, rolled oats, rice bran, the contents of the yeast cup and enough water to make a dough. That will be different according to the weather, in humid weather, the flour will have absorbed moisture and you'll use less water.  You need about 2  - 3 cups but add 2 cups first and then slowly add the rest until the dough is pliable and slightly wet.  It's better to have a wetter dough that dry dough.  Dry dough will give you a denser and tighter crumb, while a slightly wet dough will help the dough rise. Put your hand in and feel the dough, you have to learn what it should feel like - you want it to be slightly sticky, not dry.

 Here is the flour already in the bread maker bucket, the finely processed rolled oats and yeast.

 The oats should be finely processed so they aren't too heavy in the dough.

If you prepare the yeast like this you'll know that it's alive and viable before you add it to the flour and it will start working its magic on the flour immediately.

When the dough is mixing in the bread machine, just leave the machine do its thing.  When the dough cycle finishes, you'll have kneaded dough that has just finished the first rise.  Get the dough out of the machine onto a floured surface and punch the dough down.  Then knead it for a couple of minutes, shape the dough and place it in the bread tin.  Let it sit for the second rise.

The amount of time it needs to rise again will vary. It depends on how warm it is in your kitchen.  I generally need about 30 - 40 minutes in my kitchen for the bread to rise a second time.  Yours may take more or less time. Test the dough to see if it's ready by poking your finger into the dough up to the first knuckle. If the dough slowly refills the whole, it's ready for the oven, if the hole doesn't refill and you just see a hole, it's over-proofed.  If you bake an over-proofed dough it may collapse in the oven. You might save an over-proofed loaf by kneading it again for a minute and leaving it to rise again. 

This is the poke test to see if the dough is properly proofed and ready to bake.  Poke your finger into about the first knuckle and let go. If the dough is ready to bake the hole will slowly fill in but won't fill completely.  If the hole stays indented, it's over-proofed.

When you're happy with the dough, add it to the bread tin, add toppings and slash the top with a very sharp knife or razor blade. This allows steam to escape and helps the loaf rise upwards.  If you don't slash the top, the loaf will split a bit on one side.  I don't mind that and sometimes leave the top unslashed.

I brushed the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkled on some polenta.  To add extra nutrition to the loaf, it's always a good idea to sprinkle on some kind of topping like oats, polenta or seeds.

When the loaf is completely cool, slice it and store it in a cotton or linen bag.

Set your oven to 220C/430F and have it heated at that setting when you put the loaf in to bake.  Bread has two rises - one is the yeast rise and one is an oven rise.  Oven rise usually produces a light loaf and it happens when you put uncooked dough into a very hot oven. Bake at 220C/430F for 15 minutes then reduce the temp to 190C/350F for about another 30 minutes. Check the loaf when you can smell it baking,  and remove the loaf if it's close to the time, it smells cooked and it's golden brown on top. Take it out of the oven and tip it out of the tin - tap the bottom a few times to hear a hollow tapping. If you don't hear that sound, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  When it's baked, let it sit in the tin for a couple of minutes, then turn the loaf out on a rack to cool.

There are plenty of my other bread recipes here. 

It's easier for the family to use the bread if you slice the entire loaf and place it in a bread bag.  I store my bread in the fridge because the weather is very humid at the moment.  Instead of using plastic bags to store your bread, a cloth bag is a much better option. To make a cloth bread bag, find some good linen or cotton, or a linen or cotton tea towel, and sew according to the directions here.  It would look really good if you embroidered "bread" on the bag but I'm sure everyone will know what the bread bag looks like if you don't have the time to do that.

Happy baking everyone.  🍞🥯🥖

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