Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Making Whole Wheat Mini-Baguettes
A while back, I posted about how much I loved Peter Reinhart's recipe for Pain a l'Accienne, which can be found in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. So much so that it has become our daily bread of choice. It's relatively simple to make, packs a ton of flavor and has a crust that is perfectly crisp and chewy (just how I like it).
In my quest to formulate a healthier version of this bread, I decided to introduce some whole wheat flour into the mix. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I am not a fan of whole wheat bread in general. In fact, it's usually the bread of last resort for me. Maybe it's because I grew up in an immigrant family that usually kept a baguette or two lying around (another reminder that Vietnam was once a French colony) but to this day, whenever I have a craving for bread I tend to reach for a loaf that is caramelized and rustic looking on the outside and pristine white on the inside.
When making these whole wheat mini baguettes, I used 7 ounces of whole wheat flour and 20 ounces of bread flour instead of the usual 27 ounces of bread flour. The good news is that the bread rose and baked perfectly despite the substitution. In fact, I think you could probably use more wheat flour in this recipe if you wanted to. The bad news is that while the flavor is still good even by my whole-wheat-hating standards, the bread is just not the same. That being said, I'm sure many of you whole-wheat aficionados would like this bread. Me? I'm sticking to the white stuff.
And did I mention that there is nothing better than eating freshly baked bread with a smear of creamy butter and a dollop of marmalade? I live for this.