Whole Grain Baking
Whole Grain Peanut Butter Brownies
adapted from King Arthur Flour Kitchens
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa or regular cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but recommended
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan
- In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.
- Return the mixture to the heat just until hot (about 110°F to 120°F) but not bubbling. Heating this mixture a second time will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder if using, and vanilla.
- Add the eggs, stirring till smooth. Add the flour and chips, again stirring till smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, until a cake tester or sharp knife poked into the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter. The brownies should feel set on the edges and in the center. Remove them from the oven, and cool completely on a rack.
- Cover and let sit overnight before cutting and serving. This gives the bran in the whole wheat flour a chance to soften for a more pleasant texture.
Whole Wheat Pastry Dough
Adapted from Blue Stove Kitchens
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2/3 cup shortening
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
Whisk together the flours, flaxseed meal and salt.
Use a fork or pastry blender to cut in 1/3 cup shortening to the texture of a fine meal. Cut in the remaining 1/3 cup shortening to larger pieces, about the size of small peas.
Sprinkle 3 TBSP ice water over the mixture and gently combine with a fork. Add another 3 to 4 TBSP ice water and bring together gently in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes to firm up.
When ready to use, roll one disk out to a 1/2-inch thickness and place into a 10 inch deep dish pie plate. Prick the dough all over with a fork and crimp the edges to desired shape.
Line with foil and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and return the crust to the oven. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before proceeding with your favorite pie recipe.
Cook's Note: To add more flavor and richness to this dough, you can grind up pecans or walnuts to a fine texture and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon over the center your dough as you are rolling it out. This will add a nice nutty and buttery flavor to the whole wheat crust.
Whole Wheat Bread
2 scant TBSP active dry yeast (2 packs)
1/2 cup warm water (105-110 F)
1 pinch sugar or drop of honey
1 ¾ cups room temp milk
5-6 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP softened butter
2 tsp. salt
1. Mix yeast and sugar in warm water until dissolved and set aside 5-10 minutes until foamy.
2. In a large mixer bowl, add 2 cups of flour and make a well in the middle of it. Add the milk and begin to mix using the paddle attachment or use a sturdy wooden spoon if mixing by hand. Add the yeast mixture after it becomes foamy and continue to mix or stir in the flour.
3. Add 2 tsp. of salt to 1 cup of remaining flour and stir it in to the dough. Add honey, butter, and potato flour to the dough and mix until combined. Add just enough remaining flour until dough begins to be too stiff to mix or stir.
4. If using electric mixer, switch to dough hook and add enough remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough begins to come together and clean the sides of the bowl. To knead by hand, sprinkle 1/2 cup of remaining flour on a work surface and spread it out to a thin layer. Place the dough in the middle of your surface and begin to knead until dough is smooth. At this point, incorporate only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface. To test if gluten has been properly developed, pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a quarter. Begin to gently stretch it in all directions and it should form a paper thin membrane (windowpane) allowing light to pass through without tearing. This is referred to as the windowpane test. If it tears quickly, continue to knead by hand for 1-2 minutes until it can pass the windowpane test. Note: you may not need to add all the flour if the kitchen climate is cold and or dry
5. Oil a large bowl or bucket, place the dough in, and turn it so it becomes coated on all sides. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or lid, move to a warm place near 80 F and let dough rise till doubled. ( approx. 60-90 minutes. )
6. Gently punch down dough and place on lightly floured work surface. Lightly knead dough for a few seconds to rid it of excess air bubbles. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and shape both into balls, cover with oiled wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Shape each dough ball into a vertical oval and use a rolling pin to roll to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. Make sure to roll all the way to each end to ensure you pop any remaining air bubbles. Starting with the short side at the bottom, roll up into a fat cigar shape and pinch the seam tightly, tucking the ends under.
7. Place each loaf seam side down in a separate 9x5 inch loaf pan lightly greased with shortening or pan spray. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place until nearly doubled (approx. 30-45 minutes)
Preheat oven to 400 F while loaves are rising.
8. When loaves have risen to 1 inch above rim of loaf pan, remove plastic wrap, place in hot oven, and turn temp down to 350F. Bake 30-40 minutes until well browned taking care to watch for over browning. If the loaves begin to get too dark, loosely tent them with foil for the remaining bake time. When loaves are done they should sound like a hollow thud when you tap them on the bottom or read 185 - 190F on an instant read thermometer.
9. Remove the loaves from loaf pans and place on cooling racks for 15 -20 minutes before slicing to prevent them from warping or becoming soggy. While loaves are still hot, brush the tops with melted butter for a rich and soft crust.
Whole Grain Pizza Crust
Adapted from the King Arthur Flour kitchens
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP lukewarm orange juice
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Mix and knead by hand or mixer for 6-10 minutes to make a smooth, soft dough.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight, or for about 18 hours; a bit longer is fine. Handy schedule: Make pizza dough at 8 p.m., and refrigerate until 4 p.m. the next day. Shape, let rise for 2 hours, and bake at 6 p.m.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pat it into a lightly greased half-sheet pan that's been drizzled with olive oil. This will make a thick-crust, Sicilian-style pizza, one that's thick enough to undergo the long bake at a high temperature.
- Brush the dough with sauce, if desired; and top with your favorite cooked toppings: cooked vegetables, and/or cooked or smoked meats. Don't add the cheese yet. Cover the pizza, and let it rise for about 2 hours, or until it's very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Bake the pizza on the bottom shelf of the oven for 8 minutes, then remove it from the oven and top with cheese, if desired.
- Replace the pizza on a shelf in the upper third of the oven. Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust browned.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes and serve right away. If not serving right away, transfer the pizza to racks to cool, so the bottoms stay crisp.