Wind Storm and Whole Wheat Bread

The other day the wind blew in like nothing I’ve seen in years. Gust were in the upwards of 60mph. Schools and businesses were closed; many were without electricity; windows on some homes and businesses blew in. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, but here’s a picture of my street. It was garbage day.

I happened to have off work that day, and stupidly (I can say in retrospect) I chose to run some errands on my bike. Weeha!!! is all that I can say. Between the wind pushing and pulling me and dodging flying debris I really do think it was a stupid thing to do.

None the less, when I came to my senses and returned home I did what I often do on days off…baked bread. I recently purchased Peter Reinhart’s new book, Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor, and have to say that like his other books it is really excellent. I made the basic recipe, which all the recipes in the book based. I’ve never made bread with 100% whole wheat flour (I usually use 50% whole wheat and 50 % unbleached white bread flour), and I have to admit that I was more than a little dubious from the onset. I’ve always found bread made with 100% whole wheat a bit heavy, but this was really wonderful.

Two methods he uses to create both lightness and flavor are the pre-ferment (which is common to most serious bakers), and a “soaker,” which is what I believe created lightness in the whole wheat. A soaker is nothing more than soaking the whole wheat flour for a period of time (hence it’s name) to soften the whole wheat.

I made a double batch and used
half of it to make pizza for my son and I.

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