Bookmarked Recipe: sifted whole wheat bread
Early this summer, we were reading Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. And we were really intrigued by his 100% whole wheat bread making method.
The bran was still undermining the gluten, either by puncturing the gas bubbles or by weighing them down, giving me a too-tight crumb. I hit on a slightly wacky idea: I would remove the bran from the inside of the bread and put it on the outside, where it could do no damage to the gluten. So, before mixing my flour and water, I sifted the chunkiest bran out of the flour, maybe 10 percent of the total volume. In effect, I was making white (or whitish) flour circa 1850, pre-roller mill […] It still had the germ, but only those particles of bran small enough to slip through an ordinary sieve. However, I reserved the sifted bran in a bowl, and after shaping the loaves, I rolled them in the stuff, making sure that every last shard of bran was taken up by the wet skin of dough.
It worked: The trick allowed me to bake an airy and delicious loaf with a toasty, particulate crust-all the while preserving my claim to a “100 percent whole-grain” bread.
– Michael Pollen, Part III: Air, the education of an amateur baker, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation