Whole Wheat French Bread

March 26, 2013

From Famous French Desserts!!

Whole wheat French bread recipes are called Pain Complet in French.

Preparation Time: about 20 minutes
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
Resting Time: about 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups All Purpose White Flour
1 Egg
1 tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Dry Active Yeast

How to make whole wheat French bread recipes:

1. Sift the two flours together into a large bowl. Mix in salt and sugar with hand. Move the ingredients to the sides of the bowl, creating a large “well” (an empty space) in the middle.
2. Pour  the yeast into the “well” and pour 2 cups of lukewarm water over the yeast. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. of flour over top. Wait (about 10 minutes) for bubbles to appear in the yeast.
3. Once the bubbles have appeared, you can start to mix together the ingredients (hands work best) to form the dough. The best way to do this, is to gradually incorporate the flour that is “waiting” on the sides of the bowl. Doing it all at once will be too difficult. So, go bit by bit, if it’s too liquid, just add a bit more flour at the end. You should finish this “pre-kneading” stage with a round, firm ball of dough. Again, if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Kneading: remove the bread from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead it by pushing your palms into and then turning it one quarter. Keep kneading and doing quarter turns for about 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is supple and non-sticky.
5. Place the bread in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a damp dish cloth. Let it rise for about 2 hours (depends on the room temperature, you want it to be fairly warm). It should double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Re-sprinkle a counter top (or other surface) with flour. Prepare a baking pan by lightly oiling and flouring it (or bake on top of parchment paper). With your hands, remove bread and place on floured surface. Punch it down once, hard, with your palms. Now, re-shape it into a ball. Put the ball on the baking pan. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal lines across the top of the bread. Whisk the egg, and using a brush (or a teaspoon) coat the top of the bread. Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes (more or less, depending on how much you like it browned).
Voilà!

Tips for whole wheat French bread recipes:

If your yeast doesn’t bubble, it’s no longer active or you didn’t use lukewarm water. You should start over in this case, because the bread will not rise.

Freezing: If you are planning on freezing the bread, only bake it for 20 minutes. Wait for it to cool, then wrap in tin foil, put in a plastic bag and freeze. When you want to serve it, just preheat oven to 400°F, bake inside of foil for 10 minutes and then remove foil and let brown for about 5 minutes.

Variations for whole wheat French bread recipes:

Add anything that you would like to make different kinds of whole wheat French bread recipes… raisins, dried cherries, sunflower seeds or other grains, poppy seeds, sesame seeds… the possibilities for whole wheat French bread recipes are endless! So, enjoy your culinary creativity!

Serving ideas for whole wheat French bread recipes:

The recipe above will make one large, country style round loaf. Of course, you can cut up the dough and make smaller loafs right before transferring to the baking pan.

So, to make whole wheat baguettes just smooth the dough out into an elongated shape.

You can also make individual sized portions.

Whatever you choose, just remember to always decorate the top by carving diagonal lines with a sharp knife. And also, survey baking times for different sizes. Enjoy!

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