A perfect wholemeal (whole wheat) loaf for me is a bread that is well risen and light. Good for sandwiches but also makes toast which is crispy, crunchy on the outside and a little bit soft in the middle. Toasting qualities are important as I make it mainly for use at breakfast in the guest house.
Anyone who makes their own bread will know how difficult it can be sometimes to achieve that with wholemeal flour. As you may know, the reason why it's so tricky is that the gluten in wholemeal flour is not very strong and doesn't 'hold' the rise of the yeast.
Most of the time, my standard recipe works just fine but sometimes, you do exactly what you always do and you end up with a loaf that sinks back after rising. No amount of tweaking with water/yeast quantities seem to make any difference at all. After a bit of research, I have found a remedy for this, and so far (fingers crossed!) it has produced a perfect loaf every time!
So here it is, my ultimate wholemeal bread recipe for use in a breadmaker!
Recipe1.1/2 teaspoons fast action yeast
400 g wholemeal flour
150 g strong white flour
About 125 mg of crushed vitamin C powder ** see below
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1.1/2 teaspoons salt
35 ml olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
355 ml tepid water
** I use 1000 mg vitamin C tablets which I crush with a pestle and mortar.
MethodAdd the ingredients to the pan in the order specified by your breadmaker. Set to the wholemeal rapid setting and go! Check the mixture in the pan once it starts mixing. Flours vary so if it looks a little dry, add up to about 10 ml more water.
In case you hadn't guessed, it's the vitamin C and the lemon juice that come to the rescue - they help to strengthen the gluten. Simple but very effective!