What a difference eight months has made! It was in February that we started baking from the 'Baking with Julia' book. And I clearly remember how I almost chickened out of the group when I saw that they had chosen 'White Loaves' to be their very first recipe. Yeast had never been my friend and my melodramatic post at the time was about how I still went ahead and was, surprise, surprise, successful. I still remember how I fretted through that whole recipe and patted myself on the back, with a certain amount of relief and wonder, when that loaf emerged from the oven!!
All these months on and a number of bread recipes with yeast under my belt (all thanks to the 'Baking with Julia' group), I made a go at the whole wheat version of the white loaf!! And what a breeze it was! I am now happy to announce that yours truly has conquered the beast called yeast. I may have lost my fear of yeast, but evidently, I haven't lost the touch of drama in my writing!!
The recipe for this whole-wheat bread is more or less along the lines of the white loaf of bread with the ratio of the whole wheat and plain flour being roughly 50:50. Because of the presence of the whole wheat, we add a bit of honey to help the yeast along. And no, the bread does not taste sweet!!
A shade darker in colour than the white loaf of bread, this bread can simply be described as a wholesome and tasty bread. As with any homemade bread, there is a certain freshness of flavour that is always appreciated. You can also clearly see the tight crumb of this bread from the photographs.
Importantly, the presence of whole wheat makes it a tad healthier than its all white flour counterpart. As I have become more comfortable with yeast, I can easily see myself revisiting this recipe again and again.
Dorie Greenspan writes how this bread is ideal for sandwiches. It is such a flavourful bread that when taken out fresh from the oven, you can eat it plain. So, I simply toasted a few slices and slathered some butter that just melted on the hot toast. Paired that with a steaming cup of chai, that uniquely Indian concoction of milky, sweet tea that is flavoured with a whole lot of spices. It really doesn't get better than that!!