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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, this is my first post here. I've been interested in TF for a while now and have incorporated many of its principles into our food prep and eating, but I'm still a beginner. Jumping in more fully now since I am trying to replenish my body after an ectopic pregnancy (I had to take a med that depletes folate).

So, bread. I love baking bread and have had great success with sourdough. Apparently I have plenty of friendly wild yeast in my kitchen. I haven't had much success, though, making bread with all whole wheat flour. Now, I grew up eating what in the US would be called country bread, I think. Not the "sponge bread" that comes sliced in packages. So it's not like I miss white bread - I never ate it to begin with. But when I try to make bread with no white flour at all, it just doesn't taste good. It's crumbly, dense, and sort of "heavy" tasting - same with spelt flour. I do buy high-quality, organic, stone-ground, unbleached AP flour. But something doesn't make sense to me. Until the industrial age came along, what kind of flour did people eat, anyway? Sprouted and stone-ground, I know - and "whole wheat," right? So how exactly did they make good bread? For example, I have never eaten a decent whole-wheat pita. The pillowy and delicious pita and other flatbreads I've had that are made traditionally (with a big pan over a fire) used white flour, I'm almost sure. I feel like there must be a traditional way to make truly delicious bread which does not include white flour. Does anyone have any insight? Anyone try grinding flour, like with the stand mixer attachment?

Thanks for any info you can send my way!
 

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It's what we are used to. Smooth fluffy and extra-absorbent bread products have been around for centuries, first as an extreme luxury of the rich because of the extra labor involved. When they became machine-produced in bulk quantities most cultures absorbed them into new traditions. These are soft and pleasant sensations and we are all accustomed to them. We've had them a long long time now.

I mostly avoid all flours, personally, but when I do allow some I don't care if it's white or wholegrain so long as it's very little. I bake a tiny bit with egg-heavy cornmeal or just as an occasional indulgence. We purchase our sprouted grain bread and we have gotten used to it. Even my 16yo prefers it now when she shops for herself and she is not what you would consider health-conscious. I only eat a couple of slices per week, myself... I don't bake much anymore, I used to make a lot of bread and muffins, but I have gotten used to not doing it and am pretty content now.
 

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Quote:
So how exactly did they make good bread?
many factors

#1 being your gluten level - you can add gluten if you wish

another - what is put in it - eggs and milk or even beer, change the bead so much!!!

we do a lot of WW breads - many WWsourdoughs and add other things - malt, olives, sun dried tomatoes, cheese, herbs, butter, cured meats, fish, etc - these all change the taste and texture depending on the moisture level

my WW pitas are good (at least we think so) I do add a bit of extra gluten to the WW bread flour and put them right into a bag as soon as they come out- trick with them is the baking time-IMO
 

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Well, people have refined their wheat a little bit for hundreds of years. The process was gentler and less thorough than today's refining though so the flour wouldn't have been quite as white and light I would think.

I've gotten a good, chewy, dense loaf using all barley flour with this recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin. I've tried it with all WW and it was indeed a bit crumbly and just not that great. I've also never gotten a truly good 100% WW bread. So I use other flours and they seem to work better. The recipe also works well with part (1/3 to 2/3) rye, WW, or barley and part white wheat flour. Using all rye doesn't give as good of a texture with this recipe as using all barley does.

I know whole rye is good for sourdough. In fact in Northern Europe dark rye bread was traditionally almost always sourdough and it makes a very tasty, dark, nutritious (high folate! barley doesn't have a ton of folate but rye does) long-lasting bread. You might try to find a good Russian, German, or Finnish sour rye bread recipe. I haven't tried making it because I can buy it and the process is time-consuming with several days of souring, adding more flour, and souring again, but I don't think it would be that difficult in the end.
 

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When I did bake I LOVED the heavy texture of WW. It felt like a hearty meal in itself. I certainly thought it was "good." I usually did mix lighter flour in as well FWIW. I often made all WW pizza crust with plenty of oil and salt and pepper in it and everyone loved it. Made chunky apple nut muffins with all WW and called it a breakfast and these were splendid. Yet nothing like those smooth soft ones that are typical. IDK about pita breads. The WW ones I've purchased have been good, but they were probably a flour mix.

Crumbly, yes, but still delicious... And I was more likely to make a one-slice open top sandwich than one with two slices since you can't make them thin. Often ate the bread with only butter on it. Now, the quality of my bread did vary from recipe to recipe and batch to batch. Sometimes they did not rise so well, and sometimes they did.
 

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Littlest birds, just wanted to clarify that I too think WW can be great in things like muffins and flat breads that have oil in them! I just haven't managed to make any WW loaf bread that I found to be really delicious and non-crumbly.
 

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I make a really easy small loaf of WW bread!

2 1/2 tbsp yeast

2 1/2 cups stone ground WW flour

2 tbsp sugar (I use raw turbino)

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp oil, shortening, or butter (I use olive oil)

1 1/4 cups hot water

I dump it all in the bread machine in that order and then let it knead it for me. Then I spread it out in the pan and cover it to let it rise (min 30 mins) and cook it on 350 degrees for 45min-1hr (my oven is kind of garbage though so times may vary)

It's not crumbly or dry form my experience. It's not tall though either b/c I try to use minimal ingredients due to budget, but I suppose you could double the recipe to make that big tall loaf?
 

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I thought TF pretty much uses soaked and sprouted grains? Just curious whether this is a TF question or just general question because I was sort of expecting to see recipes involving those practices?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, so much great info here! I am going to go through all your links and suggestions and see if I can make a great loaf of everyday bread. I've been googling the kind of bread I used to eat growing up that they don't have in the US - I am pretty sure it is rye-based. Maybe I'll try a rye and barley combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

I thought TF pretty much uses soaked and sprouted grains? Just curious whether this is a TF question or just general question because I was sort of expecting to see recipes involving those practices?
My understanding is that TF is about returning to pre-industrial methods of food prep and eating styles generally. Sprouting grains before they're ground and soaking prepped grains are only two aspects of traditional grain prep. There is also the way the grains are ground (machine-ground flour particles are a lot finer than stone-ground or other traditional grinding methods, and even WW machine-ground flour raises GI quickly). NT doesn't discuss this aspect of TF, IIRC, but others do. There is a whole thing about this one quarry in France makes these amazing millstones that were totally abandoned until recently. Now they are sought after again! In any case, my question was about ratios of different types of flour in order to avoid white flour, not the sprouting or sourdough, since I do those already. I appreciate these recipes.
 

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I wasn't being snarky either. Just an honest question.

My own diet is largely grain-free so I never spent much time learning about the TF options for grains. I did read NT several years ago and got the impression that grains were always soaked from that. I tried it a few times and will occasionally do it myself but I didn't like doing it and drifted on to other things. My common ground with TF tends to be in other areas.

Thanks for the interesting answers. I don't really know what all is in the realm of TF.
 

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I did read NT several years ago and got the impression that grains were always soaked from that.
there are those that don't soak and sprout and don't buy into all of NT stuff and all that sally has to say--- TF is a bigger tent

this is just some - there are other's out there that are not soaking so you might want to find out why -

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/05/06/an-exploration-of-soaking-grains-the-first-debate/

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/seriescarnivals/soaking-grains-an-exploration/

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/05/13/an-exploration-of-soaking-grains-more-fallonobrien-debate/
 
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