I would have thought wheat germ to look like a little unicellular organism, perhaps with cowlickish spikelets of wheat hull plumed off its droplet body. Thanks to mass marketing of pharmaceutical cold remedies, I now cannot help but imagine “germs” with grins and sinister eyebrows and little steaming raisin bodies. In reality, wheat germ, I’ll have you know, looks like doll house bark dust, and it is kept in the refrigerator to keep from going rancid. Delicate little flake, a wheat’s germ packs a ton of healthy nutrients like Vitamin E, folate, thiamine, zinc, essential fatty acids…it is basically the spinach leaf of the bread world. I’m going to start adding it fondly to everything I eat.
Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
Yields 2 loafs!
2 1/3 cups warm water (about 110 deg)
1 ½ tbsp instant yeast
¼ cup honey
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
2 ½ tsp salt
Add to yeast mixture and mix:
¼ cup rye flour
½ cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cup all purpose unbleached flour
Using the dough hook of a heavy duty mixer, attach the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 min. (Hand knead if you do not have a heavy duty mixer.) Transfer to lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for about 1 hour.
Preheat a 375 deg oven. Divide dough into two equal parts, form a cylinder and place in greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise until almost double, 20-30 min.
Bake until an instant read thermometer inserted in the short end of the pan, above the pan rim reads 205 deg, 35-45 min. Transfer the bread immediately to wire racks. Cool.
My favorite bread pans are pretty large, so all my loaves look like little Napoleons, when really, they are quite broad. Next batch I’ll do in the smaller of the pans I have to demonstrate that I can put a good lid on a loaf. This whole wheat bread tasted healthy, which is a compliment but also a caveat that if you don’t like the taste of healthy things you will not much enjoy this bread. It has a bland taste—it begs for a spread of jam or peanut butter or cottage cheese. I’ll give it a 4, because it is really a staple kind of bread more than it is a fancy pants tell all your friends about it kind of bread.
Bake it and see if you catch the health bug. Here is Izzy doing her best impression of a germ. We made it safe to New Orleans in 19 hours and enjoyed Endymion last night with our good friends Jeremy, Kristen, Kim and Daniel! Thoth this afternoon.