Looking for a book that takes you to the next level of bread baking?
Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads book was at our local library, and the photos were so beautiful I knew I just had to try out a few of his recipes.
I began (at my husband’s request!) with the 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread. It was a bit complicated with a whopping four pages of instructions, but my husband loved the finished loaf.
It involved making a “soaker” and a “biga,” then letting them sit overnight or up to three days. I used freshly ground hard red winter wheat berries for my flour.
Then, I used my pastry scraper to chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces each, using a good dusting of flour to keep them from being sticky.
These pieces went into the bowl of my stand mixer along with a few more ingredients to create a final dough for the bread.
After kneading the dough and allowing it to rise, I rolled it out into a rectangle…
Sprinkled with cinnamon and a little sugar (optional)…
Then rolled it, let it have one final rise, and threw it into the oven for about 40 minutes. The finished loaf was gorgeous, with a deep golden brown crust, and the house smelled so wonderful.
I certainly can’t say this is a bread I will make often since it was so detailed, but it was fun to try, and my husband absolutely loved the end result of my efforts.
Yum! Doesn’t it look delicious?