Thursday, June 16, 2016

Babes Bodacious Bran Bread

Yes, the 16th of the month has rolled around sure seems to go fast...and today our kitchen of the month, Lien of Notitie van Lien has gathered us around the kitchen table and encouraged the Babes to bake a loaf or two with quite a bit of bran in it.

I used wheat bran and whole wheat flour, as well as unbleached bread flour. Not only did I add golden raisins, but I put in chopped walnuts. If the bread has a pink tinge, you can blame the walnuts. There is some chemical reaction that causes it. It doesn't affect the taste any, but the first time I baked yeast bread that included walnuts I was pretty surprised to cut into it and find that pinky-purple tint.

The amount of water in this recipe is pretty variable. I used 100 grams to soak the bran and another 100 in the first part of the dough, plus some more for proofing the yeast. It was too much, so I ended up adding quite a bit of bread flour while doing the kneading. It was still a pretty slack dough, so I decided to make one large round loaf instead of two regular loaves. It worked out fine except for the fact that the weather heated up at a rapid rate and I didn't realize it. I was at the computer in my bedroom, which is on the north side of the house and stays cooler. When I went to check on the dough in the pan at the correct time, it had overproofed. I put it into the preheated oven right away and it was still a wonderful, moist, tasty loaf, but it didn't have any oven spring and had a flat top, so not as pretty as some. Sweetie really enjoyed this one and it stayed fresh tasting for a week! With just the two of us to enjoy this bodacious bran bread, it take a while to eat it. I enjoyed it toasted the most and Sweetie really like the French Toast I made using it.

Please consider baking this great bread and becoming a Buddy by e-mailing Lien with a photo and a short description of your baking experience with this recipe. She will send you a Buddy badge and include you in the round-up.

Be sure to check out the other Bread Baking Babes, too, with links below. You will see loaves much nicer looking than mine and more inspiration for becoming a Buddy.
A Messy Kitchen - Kelly
Bake My Day - Karen
Blog From Our Kitchen - Elizabeth
Bread Experience - Cathy
Judy's Gross Eats - Judy
Karen's Kitchen Stories - Karen
My Kitchen in Half Cups - Tanna
Notitie van Lien - Lien

Bran Bread
(makes 2 small loaves or 1 large)

500 g whole wheat flour (I used half whole wheat and half unbleached bread flour)
300-380 g water
50-100 g (organic) wheat bran (1 used 75 g)
+ Extra water for the bran (± 2 g water per 1 g bran)
7 g instant dry yeast
1 TBsp honey
30 g margarine (or butter)
1.5 tsp fine salt
50 g water
100 g walnuts (or other nuts), coarsely chopped
100 g golden raisins

Mix the yeast with 3/4 of the water,  honey, margarine, additional 50 g water. Let sit 10 minutes. Mix the bran with the additional water in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let mixture sit until cool. Take the cooled bran and put into the bowl of a stand mixer, add some of the WW flour, salt and start mixing it adding the rest of the WW flour and if needed the rest of the water. Don't put everything in at once, you can always put more in later when the dough is almost ready. The dough has to be moist and sticky

As the bran in the flour and the added bran take time to absorb the water, leave the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes. Now check the consistency and decide if there is more water needed. Start kneading the dough, the dough should not be very sticky after a minute or 6 Add additional flour if necessary

Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to rise for about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising: Soak the raisins for about 20 minutes in lukewarm water, pat dry with a kitchen towel and leave them on a dry tea towel to dry a little further. If you use nuts you can do the same, the soaking time will be longer about 40 minutes.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and press or roll it out flat in a big oval. (Mine was so sticky that I used floured hands to flatten it and a dough scraper to mix in the nuts and raisins as they were added. Divide 1/2 of the nuts and/or raisins over the dough, fold the dough in two, press or roll out again and sprinkle on the remaining nuts/raisins. Roll the dough (jelly roll style) and divide in two. Or make one whole mass of dough as I did.

Take one half and place it on the counter and press the escaped nuts/raisins back in the dough, press it down a little and shape it to a round, without working the dough, but by rolling it between your cupped hands on the surface. Repeat with the second half of the dough and place the dough balls on parchment paper. You can also shape the dough into a log and place it in a greased baking tin. My dough was so slack that I patted it down with floured hands to help the gas escape, then used a dough scraper to mound it and two dough scrapers to transfer the mass of dough to a greased round 9"x3" cake pan.

Now cover with lightly greased plastic plastic. Let it rise for about 45 minutes in a warm and draft free spot. Check if it's ready to bake by pressing a floured finger in the dough, it the dent springs back, leave it to rise longer, if the dent doesn't disappear, it's ready to bake.

Preheat your oven (preferably with an oven stone and a metal tin on the bottom of the oven) to 200ºC (400ºF).
Make slashes in the dough and put them in the oven (on the stone if you have it), pour some water in the metal tin to create steam and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Check the temperature of the bread (95ºC/200ºF) to be sure it is cooked.If the top gets too dark before the bread is done, cover with tin foil. Take the loaves out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. Flat top? Not as flat a top as I got!!

    Your bread looks lovely, Elle. Well done for rescuing your bread from the heat wave. And what a good idea to use it for making French toast!

  2. Flat topped but delicious even more so topped with all that gorgeous fruit! That is one of my pitfalls with ww bread... leave it too long so it overproofed. Still the crumb looks great!

  3. Your loaf looks just fine!

  4. Love the French toast... Yes, I know how long it takes for two to finish stuff LOL

  5. Your slices are beautiful. The round made nice slices.
    The weather always fools us doesn't it.
    Gosh Pat, two of us and this was a goner in 3 days. I guess we had it 3 meals a day. Breakfast toast, tuna sandwich and dessert toast for dinner ;-) gluttons we be.

  6. A that is so hard to keep an eye on when the weather is too hot.Glad that it still made a great loaf. It looks you made a slice of bread into a dessert, it looks so appetizing with all that fruit!

  7. Now I must try this as french toast! I think we've all had loaves over proof and get away from us once or twice. Or more... Shhhhhh. I still think it looks great!