Crumb & Crust Troubleshooting

Sometimes my bread comes out pretty good, and sometimes it has small issues. For instance, my oatmeal bread from yesterday. The first slice looked and tasted fine…but then this morning, when I sliced a few more servings, I noticed the crumb was a little too crumbly and the crust was coming unattached.

I have had this problem before and I am pretty sure in this instance, it’s due to incorrect shaping. I must not have formed it properly; I was having a bit of an issue with the dough kind of getting too large, and I had to kind of quickly reshape it. Another reason could be over-proofing, and yeah, my dough rose pretty quickly yesterday. I think I am going to experiment with adding less yeast next time, so it will require a longer slower rise. I might try taking the dough out of the bread machine right after the knead, and allow it to rise in a bowl.

And I was thinking last night, and I might have figured out how to use a more traditional autolyse even with the bread machine. Adding all the liquid and only SOME (maybe half) of the flour. I’ll try allowing the bread machine to mix for 3 minutes, then shut off the machine. After 30 minutes, I will add the rest of the flour, salt and yeast, and allow it to mix normally. Or…I might add the yeast initially. We’ll see.

Anyway, I always go to this web site to troubleshoot my bread issues: – yes, it’s a sourdough web site, but there is a list for general baking troubleshooting and I find it very helpful!

Transitional Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread Recipe

My DH asked me if next time, I could make a “whiter” bread for him, so this “transitional” bread recipe is for my wonderful dear husband. Even though it’s not 100% whole grain, it still offers a good amount of fiber!

A loaf of whole wheat oatmeal bread

Inspired by the Oatmeal Bread recipe found on King Arthur Flour’s web site.

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100% Whole Grain Wheat & Rosemary Sunflower Bread Recipe

Made a new bread this afternoon. Just had a slice, and it’s hearty and wheaty tasting!

Modified from my regular 100% whole wheat recipe that I based on the Walnut Whole Wheat Bread recipe from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book.

slice of 100% whole wheat rosemary sunflower bread


  • 2 Tbsp Almond Oil (olive oil or any other vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tbsp of molasses (or honey)
  • Approx 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp lukewarm water (IMPORTANT: the molasses is mixed into the water to equal a total of 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp salt (I use sea salt, and lowered the amount from my previous recipes; I’ll probably lower it even more next time)
  • 12 oz or 3 cups – mixture of traditional and white whole wheat flour.
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup raw hulled (unsalted) sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried Rosemary herb

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Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day – First Batch Using Master Recipe

Check the bottom of this post for nutritional data (calories, fat, sodium, fiber, etc) for the Master Recipe!

I mixed up my first batch of whole wheat “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients” using the Master Recipe. Yes, it includes a bit of white flour, but I figured I will tackle the 100% whole wheat master recipe after I get a handle on the first recipe.

So, I measured the whole wheat flour and white flour using my food scale and poured it into a large 5.5 qt Rubbermaid brand plastic container. It’s a very wide container, and not that deep.

(Note: I was concerned that it wasn’t the right shape, so I posted a question over on the web site and received an answer very quickly, that yes, that shape will work fine, in fact it’s what Zoe uses.)

I measured the vital wheat gluten, salt (used only 2 tsp vs 1 Tbsp suggested in recipe) and yeast and whisked all the dry ingredients together. I measured 4 cups of lukewarm water, & poured it all at once onto the dry ingredients. I started to mix everything together with a wooden spoon, and it became quite clear that was too dry. It wasn’t mixing well at all, so I added a bit more water, probably about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

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100% Whole Wheat Bread With Caraway & Poppy Seeds

Oh my, I baked bread this afternoon, and I am in love with this recipe! I couldn’t wait, I had to slice a piece! It was heaven. A big ole slice of heaven!

can't wait to slice the fresh baked loaf

I used the same recipe as the previous 100% Whole Wheat with Rosemary Bread, except that I swapped the rosemary for some yummy caraway and poppy seeds. I was happy that my bread machine didn’t make the clanging noises this time. I can only guess that the last dough was too heavy or maybe the paddle wasn’t placed properly.

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Whole Grain Wheat, Rye, Oat Bread with Caraway Seeds

Oh gosh, have I mentioned how much I love the smell of caraway seeds. I bought a bag at Penzey’s yesterday, and they smell heavenly. I wanted to use them in bread, but I needed to find a 100% whole grain bread, as so many rye bread recipes are made with white flour.

I found what looked like a good recipe on Teri’s Kitchen and I altered it a little bit for my needs.

My Modified Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil (that’s 1 T + 1.5 tsp for those that don’t have a 1/2 T spoon)
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1/2 cup regular whole wheat)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp rye flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ (I think that’s what I used. My container wasn’t labeled from Whole Food bulk)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (meal)
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (oh the smell is soo delish)
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast

Added all ingredients into my Breadman Bread Machine. (note: I am a little worried about my bread machine, it’s really making a loud clanging noise, like marbles are rolling around inside it – I think something is going to give very soon)

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100% Whole Wheat Bread With Rosemary

Okay, after the semi-fiasco last weekend, I am determined to try to bake bread again, and succeed!

I chose the Walnut Whole Wheat Bread recipe (with my own modifications) on page 188 of the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book for my experiment this weekend.

I had to forgo the nuts (since I didn’t have any pecans nor walnuts in the house) but I replaced with just under a tablespoon of dried rosemary – it was all I had left in my jar. After all was said and done, it was probably the perfect amount, because we eat a lot of nutbutter and jelly sandwiches, and any more rosemary might have been too overpowering.

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Bread! Another Whack at Bread!

Today I baked bread! Hmm it was about 90 ° and I decided to bake! Ha! But I’m glad I did!

It was both positive and problematic, but I remembered “no failures, only lessons” – and I know I will get better next time with the lessons learned from this time.

I couldn’t decide which recipe to follow in all the books borrowed from the library, but I settled on “The Easiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread Ever” recipe on page 180 of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book.

Since the King Arthur Flour staff praises the use of a bread machine, I was excited to try the “dough” setting on my Breadman Bread machine.

The recipe looked so easy, and I had all the ingredients, except for the orange juice, but it stated that water could be substituted. I took my time, making sure I weighed the flour and measured the water and molasses correctly.

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Next Try – No Knead Whole Grain Bread

Well, I am getting better at this bread thang, but still not perfect. I followed the same whole grain no-knead recipe from before. Instead of wheat germ, I decided that corn meal might be a nice addition! And I did buy some vital wheat gluten.

2nd try at whole grain no-knead bread.

It all went very well, until the towel. After the dough rested for 22 hours or so, I didn’t have too much trouble folding it, and I even flipped it, and tucked it under. I transferred to the floured towel, and wrapped it up for a couple of hours more.

So, after the 2 hour rest in the towel, I unwrapped and tried to flop it into the preheated (4 qt) cast iron pot. When I flipped it upside down, it just hung there, and slowly fell, pulling and stretching the dough all the way down into the pot! I was so bummed.

I can’t seem to get the dough not to stick to the towel no matter how much flour I use. sigh. So, no more towels! I am going to just use parchment paper, and plop that into the pot!

As you can see from the photo below, I don’t think it lifted quite high enough in the oven. So, it looks like a cake! So what! It’s bread cake!

Oh but I did buy a cheap oven thermometer to check my oven temp, and it registered at 350° so that is good!

2nd try at whole grain no-knead bread.

So, after it cools for a little bit longer, I will slice it and hopefully it won’t be too dense.

100% Whole Grain No Knead Bread

Whoo hoo. Made my very first no-knead whole grain bread today. Started it yesterday afternoon around 1pm. Decided to follow the recipe over at – I liked that it wasn’t just whole wheat flour, but also included rye, white, ground flax, & wheat bran (I used wheat germ). I didn’t have any vital wheat gluten but I will get it for next time.

Here is my recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup white flour
3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tablespoons honey (dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water)
1 3/4 cups water (total of 2 cups including the 1/4 cup mixed with honey)

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