They call me “The Bread Killer”.
When I was first married, my husband and I went to visit my mother in law for the weekend. Trying to impress her, I made a large and beautiful loaf of bread for the family dinner. In front of all the guests, the bread broke apart into a million pieces as it was being cut.
Another time I tried making a loaf of bread but accidentally killed the yeast. It was a hard, unappetizing lump that broke the bread knife when my husband was trying to slice it.
After one too many mishaps in the kitchen, my husband kindly requested that I no longer make bread.
A several month hiatus passed and I discovered a recipe for the most fluffy, airy bread I ever had. My husband was appeased and no longer had hesitations about my baking bread. I loved the recipe but it became stale too quickly.
I found a new recipe for bread; this recipe used honey and 6 eggs. It was too costly to make long term.
After making bread on a regular basis I finally figured out how to make bread without following an exact recipe. Now I am able to throw a few stuff together, eyeball the measurements, and make delicious bread.
Then I switched to whole wheat. Whole wheat is a completely different story from white flour. While my bread tasted fine and was not breaking any knives, it still was very heavy. The same proportions that made light and fluffy white bread made heavy thick whole wheat bread. I was in a dilemma what to do.
Last night I decided to make whole wheat bread, determined that this time it would become fluffy. I read online that kneading and kneading the dough makes it fluffier, so I was pounding away at it, working on that dough for about 10 minutes.
I let the dough rise overnight in my warmed but off oven.
I remembered being a guest at someone's house who's bread was heavenly, light, and fluffy. She revealed that her trick was rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, rolling it up, and then using those rolled ropes to make her bread. I tried her method in the hopes of airing out my dough. It seemed counter productive to roll out dough that had spent the night rising, but did so anyhow.
I made ropes of dough the length I wanted and rolled those ropes out width wise. I now had a wide rectangle to work with.
I loosely rolled up the dough like a jelly roll into a snake, making sure to keep air pockets in the dough while doing so. I squeezed the ends of the roll shut and smoothed down the edges along the side.
I used this method to make many ropes and then formed the ropes into various shapes, like knots for rolls and braids for loaves.
Conclusion? This was the fluffiest whole wheat bread I've ever tasted. It rose like no other bread I've ever made, was more delicious than store bought whole wheat bread. Best of all, it is so light and airy that you don't feel weighed down after eating.
I plan on doing this again and again and again. Rolling ropes out with a rolling pin then rolling them up like a jelly roll was key. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.
Do you make whole wheat bread at home? How do you ensure that it doesn't stay heavy but becomes light and fluffy?