It is entirely possible to make delicious French bread out of whole wheat flour. Not only will this result in a more nutritious loaf for your family, but you may be surprised to find that the bread you create is even better than its white flour counterparts.
Let’s start with a refresher of what French bread is exactly. French bread is a type of crusty, long loaf made with a combination of flour, water, salt, and yeast. This dough is typically shaped into a baguette, but it can also vary in thickness, length, and shape.
Whole wheat flour is rich in nutrients like vitamin B, dietary fiber, and protein – all of which are essential for a balanced diet. Whole wheat flour is also low in sugar and contains healthy fats, which makes it an ideal ingredient for creating bread.
How to Make French Bread With Whole Wheat Flour
You will need the following:
– 3 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
– 2 teaspoons of salt
– 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
– ¼ cup of olive oil
– 1 ¾ cups of lukewarm water
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and yeast. Make sure that everything is well-combined.
2. Add in the olive oil and lukewarm water, stirring everything together until a dough forms.
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is elastic and smooth.
4. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes.
5. After 45 minutes, turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Cut the dough into two pieces and shape them into loaves.
7. Place the two loaves on a baking sheet that has been lightly-coated with a small amount of olive oil.
8. Allow the loaves to rise for an additional 40 minutes.
9. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Once finished baking, remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool before slicing.
Advantages of Using Whole Wheat Flour for French Bread
As previously mentioned, whole wheat flour is a great way to get more nutrients into your bread. This type of flour is also known for its hearty flavor, rich color, and chewy texture.
Whole wheat flour is known to have a nuttier flavor than white flour, which is great for making French bread that has a complex, multi-dimensional taste.
Disadvantages of Using Whole Wheat Flour for French Bread
When using whole wheat flour instead of white flour, you may find that the texture of the bread is slightly different. The bread may be slightly denser and chewier.
The flavor of the bread may also be slightly different and nuttier than a white flour loaf.
Tips for Making the Best French Bread with Whole Wheat Flour
When kneading the dough, make sure to use a light touch and don’t overwork it. An overworked dough may result in bread that is tough and chewy.
When rising, make sure to keep the dough in a warm, moist environment. If the dough is allowed to dry out, it may prevent the bread from rising properly.
Alternatives to Whole Wheat Flour for Making French Bread
There are a variety of other flours that can be used to make French bread, such as spelt, oat, and buckwheat flours. Each of these flours will result in different flavors and textures, so it’s important to experiment to find the one that works best for you.
Making French bread at home with whole wheat flour is not only possible – it’s delicious too! Not only will using whole wheat flour result in a more nutritious loaf, but you may be surprised to find that the flavor and texture of the bread is even better than its white flour counterparts.
With just a few simple steps and a few tips, you can have a delicious loaf of French bread made with whole wheat flour in no time. Bon Appetit!