Cracked wheat bread May 28, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Bread.
In my recent bread making experiments, I reflected on how my bread parameters are probably broader than Nero Wolfe’s. He famously will not eat any bread unless it is cooked by Fritz, and therefore cannot enjoy spelt, or pink beetroot bread – or this cracked wheat bread. After getting some cracked wheat just to eat, I was curious after seeing it in bread recipes. I followed this one, and for my first loaf, halved the recipe so I ended up with one loaf instead of two.
To prepare the cracked wheat, I didn’t bother boiling it like the recipe said – instead I just poured boiling water over it and let it absorb the water. I also started the yeast in some warm water, to get it activated. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the wheat had cooked and cooled, and the yeast was ready to use.
I added flour, butter, salt, milk, honey, replacing the molasses called for in the recipe with golden syrup. I mixed it together, adding more flour until I had a soft dough. I left this to rise for about an hour.
After about an hour, the dough had doubled in size. I punched it down and placed it in my snazzy new bread tin to rise again. Here it is before I put it in the oven – I should note that I let it rise for only about another hour – I was impatient and running late, and figured it would be enough. In retrospect, I should have let it rise more. Here it is before I put it in the oven.
It took about 40 minutes to cook at about 200 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately it didn’t rise as much as I was hoping, and it definitely could have done with more proofing before the cooking.
Still, it looked quite inviting. So inviting, in fact, that I ate a slice right away without taking any photos of the sliced bread. And then, I ate another, and another. I really enjoyed this bread! The honey and golden syrup made it sweet, but this was tempered by the nutty flavour of the cracked wheat. While it was sweet when eaten on its own, it was also great as a base for savoury foods – it seemed to make the savoury foods more savoury, with their flavours becoming stronger.
I did feel a little guilty about not taking any photos, but really, I just wanted an excuse to make this bread again. This time I made two loaves, and I’m still not sure they are enough.
Again I probably didn’t let it prove enough but one day I’ll be patient enough to let it rise properly before cooking. In the meantime I can only hope that if Nero Wolfe had tried this bread, it may have made him more open to other types of bread and maybe even made it a regular feature for Fritz to make.