Monday, August 24, 2009
Whole Wheat Flat Sandwich Bread
This bread started as focaccia and morphed into this variation of flat bread that isn’t dimpled. Sometimes I add herbs or seeds to this bread, but more often than not I make it plain since I haven’t always planned what I am going to eat it with when I make it.
Since this bread is scored into slices before it has its second rise you could put different toppings on each slice if you like. I have used caramelized onions and thyme, olives and garlic, sun dried tomatoes and garlic, cooked spinach and almond feta, onions and herbs, there are many possible variations.
Whole Wheat Flat Sandwich Bread
1 ¾ cups of warm water (around 100 degrees)
2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast (or 1 package)
¼ teaspoon of agave or sugar
2 cups of sprouted whole wheat flour
2 cups of whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Proof the yeast by adding it and the agave to the warm water. Allow the yeast to stand for 10 minutes during which time it should start to bubble. If it doesn’t bubble your yeast was dead before you started, or your water was too hot and killed the yeast. Don’t make the bread if the yeast didn’t proof.
Move the proofed yeast mixture to your stand mix and then add the remaining ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and process until dough forms. If some of the flour remains dry add a little room temperature water (no more than 2 tablespoons at a time) until all the flour is absorbed. The amount of water your flour will take will depend on the humidity.
Once the dough has formed allow the mixer to knead the dough for 5 minutes to develop the gluten. You can do this by hand but it takes about twice as long.
Grease a large bowl (about twice the size of the bread dough – I use an 8 cup measuring bowl) and move the dough to the bowl. Lightly coat the top the dough with oil. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic cling wrap and move the dough to a draft free place to double in bulk (I use the interior of my microwave). Check the dough in about an hour. If the dough has doubled you are ready to shape it into the pan.
Take your half sheet pan and either line it with parchment, a silpat or grease it. Place the dough in the pan and press it with your hands until it covers the pan corner to corner. The bread dough will cover the pan but you need to be persistent. If you hands are sticking to the dough use a little oil to the top of the dough.
Cut the dough (using a sharp or serrated knife) into 16 pieces. Lightly salt and pepper the dough. Allow the dough to sit on top the stove while you preheat the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees during which time your dough will rise again. Fill a spray bottle with warm water for later.
When you dough is at least as high as the sides of the pan it is ready to bake. Place the dough in the oven and spray the oven interior with water. I spray my baking stone with is always in my oven; you can also spray the oven walls. The humidity helps the dough to rise.
Set your oven time for 25 minutes and check to see if it is done then. If it is not done, it shouldn’t need more than 5 more minutes.
When the bread is done remove it from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes in the pan. Then move the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the bread is cool I slice the bread in half and wrap the two halves in plastic cling film and then put those in a large lidded container and keep it in the refrigerator. If I know we aren’t going to eat it all in 5 days I take the excess and store it in the freezer. It will reheat well wrapped in aluminum foil in the oven. Or you can do what I do and use it for whole wheat bread crumbs. I haven’t bought breadcrumbs or croutons in years.
Nutritional Information (per 1/16th):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 118.53
Calories From Fat (25%) - 30.02
Total Fat - 4.37g
Saturated Fat - 0.26g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 62.67mg
Potassium - 28.38mg
Total Carbohydrates - 23.16g
Fiber - 3.55g
Sugar - 0.55g
Protein - 3.83g
I have been making this bread for at least 5 years. It is easier to make than loaf bread because you don’t have to worry about the middle not being done. If you are someone that likes crust (like I am) this bread has crust on every piece.