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Brown Bread is definitely healthier than the APF bread or white bread as it uses whole wheat flour and I am so thrilled to share this bread recipe with you all.
I have been trying whole wheat bread much before than I made APF bread. Yes, that long. I was getting decent looking breads and I could have uploaded those recipes too, just like I see so many on internet. But I wasn’t 100 % satisfied with it. It was dense and sometimes felt like undone, even after baking them for so long. I have tried them like so many times because I didn’t want to just upload a recipe but really want it to come out good for you all.
So, until I got here to the texture that I have now in my brown bread, I kept working on it. I wanted it to come close to the APF bread. That light texture and perfect holes. Though there is a difference between an APF bread and a brown bread but still I feel that I have come very close.
Understanding Brown Bread
The whole wheat flour which is used in brown bread has the maximum percentage of protein, among all the flours, which form gluten when mixed with water. So we have to be careful while adding water in the brown bread. We need a little more water for whole wheat bread than we need for APF bread to hydrate the flour and help gluten to form.
So, you can experiment with your APF bread recipe and try and make a brown bread, by adding a little more moisture in the dough…but how much more? That you’ll have to experiment and see. Till that time, try out this recipe and let me know how it came out for you.
Important Tips for Brown Bread
1.Flour – Every flour is different. So it is important to try to stick to one type or brand of flour for baking breads. I am saying this because in India, normally many families get the whole wheat flour directly from the flour mills. Many have their own farms and use the grains grown in the field. So that flour, coming straight from a flour mill will be different from the one sold in the packets in the markets.
The difference mainly would be in the capacity of the flour to absorb water and the quantity of bran in the flour (Do sieve your flour and separate the bran). So it becomes very important to know your flour before you use it. I have used store bought whole wheat flour for this brown bread.
2. Water or Milk – In my Ladi Pav recipe, I have used, water only for kneading the dough and here also I have used only water. A lot of my readers have asked me if they can use milk and water for that recipe. Well, yes you can. It will just give a little different texture, in terms of lightness. That’s all. I personally like to use only water when I want a light and not very rich bread.
3. Fat – Fat weakens the gluten in dough and hence it is very important to know, when to add the fat and how much? Especially in brown bread where its kind of little difficult to get a light texture, adding a lot of fat should be avoided or else we will get a dense textured bread. One more reason why I don’t use milk. So, unless you have kneaded the dough for the brown bread for sometime, just don’t add butter to it.
4. Instant Yeast or Dry Active Yeast – You can use any of these yeasts. If you use instant yeast, like I have, use the quantity mentioned here. If you use the dry active yeast, then increase the quantity of yeast by 25%.
It is always a good idea to proof your yeast before using it, as that ensures that it has not died and will work good in the dough. If it doesn’t bubbles up, discard it and use a new one.
5. Kneading – It is an important step in bread baking. You can not hurry this step. If you are kneading with hands, do it for at least 18-20 minutes. With hand blender, I took almost 12-14 minutes for the complete kneading part. And with stand mixer it will be roughly around 10 min. To read more about kneading , do read my APF bread recipe.
6. Texture – The texture of dough is what you should pay attention to. Depending upon the ingredients quality, you may have to add 2-3 tbsp more of flour or water and that is absolutely okay. What you should not miss, is the texture of dough. How sticky is it? How much rise after 1st proofing and then 2nd ? All these things matter a lot in getting a perfect bread out of your oven.
Some other interesting recipes from my blog and youtube channel;
- Crunchy Samosa, market style
- Strawberry Ice cream Recipe
- Sabudana Khichdi
- Danish Butter Cookies
- Karachi Biscuits (tutty-frutty biscuits)
- Eggless Chocolate Cookies
- Red Velvet Cake
- Homemade Butter cream recipe
Recipe Video of Brown Bread
- Whole Wheat Flour – 2 cup (240 gm) + 2 – 3 tbsp (15-40 gm, if required)
- Water – 1 cup (240 ml) + 2-3 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Dry Instant Yeast – 1/2 tsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp (at room temp) + 1-2 tbsp for greasing and brushing
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
1.Take 1 cup luke warm water in a bowl. Add sugar and yeast in it and mix well. Cover and leave it for about 10 min to bubble up.
2. After 10 min, when yeast is all foamy and ready to use, take 2 cup flour in a separate bowl and add salt and mix. To this flour, add the yeast mixture and mix with a spatula or spoon. Mix it nicely. No dry flour should be left. At this stage you can add 1 -2 tbsp of water if required. Once mixed nicely, leave the dough covered, for about 15 min.
3. After 15 min, use hand blender or stand mixer and knead the dough. After about 7-8 min of kneading add 1 tbsp butter (soft at room temp). Incorporate this butter nicely in the dough. At his stage, you may use 1 -2 tbsp of flour, if required. I have used about 1 tbsp flour while final kneading. Please watch the video for a clear understanding of this step.
4. After about 12 minutes of kneading, collect the dough and bring it on the kitchen surface. It will be sticky to handle and that’s okay. Just grease the bowl and transfer back the dough in the bowl for 1st proofing. Cover it with a lightly wet kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place to rise to double of its size. It may take anywhere from 45 min to 1 & 1/2 hour. My dough doubled up in 45 min.
5. After it is double in size, degas the dough and knead just for a minute in the bowl only.
6. Now, take it out on a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangular shape. Remember to flour your rolling pin too. Also you can dust the dough a little in between if it sticks a lot.
7. Now, shape it into a log by rolling it back. Pinch the ends of the dough to seal them.
8. Put it in a greased bread tin, with the pinched side down. Cover with the kitchen towel and keep in a warm place for 2nd proofing.
9. After about 30 min, the dough will rise till the rim of the tin. Brush it very gently with butter and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 35 minutes. The time may vary according to your oven settings. I have baked this brown bread in microwave convection mode.
10. Once it is done, brush it with butter when it is still hot. Leave it in the tin for about 5-7 minutes and then de-mould it. Cover it with a lightly wet kitchen towel and let it cool down completely. Slice it and enjoy the 100% whole wheat bread.
11. To get this type of texture in bread, add 2-4 tbsp more water while kneading. The dough will then be quite sticky and kind of unmanageable. Also, while shaping the dough, don’t roll into log or loaf shape. Just put it in the baking tin without shaping. It will rise to double the size. Then bake as mentioned above. You will get a beautiful honeycomb structure in the bread.
I would love to hear from you if you try this brown bread recipe. Do mention it in my comments section how you liked it or if you made any changes in it. Also if you make this and share on social networking sites, remember to add #flavourhomebysutiksha and tag me there, so that even I can appreciate your efforts.
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