Cook's Hideout: Whole Wheat Milk Bread

August 02, 2014

Whole Wheat Milk Bread

Blogging Marathon# 43: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Tame the Yeast
Dish: Mir's Whole Wheat Milk Bread
We are starting another edition of Blogging Marathon today and I signed up for all 4 weeks this month. We are at the tail end of our summer vacation in India and I can't believe how fast the time went. I had plans of meeting old friends and doing a lot of shopping, but nothing got done. With the 2 kids, it was impossible for me to get out of the house. Hoping that this final week will be a little fruitful.
Whole wheat Milk Bread

My theme for this week is 'Tame the yeast'. This is a new theme that will be a standard theme for blogging marathon going forward. The idea is to have the more experienced bakers share their tried and tasted recipes with the group which will help the novice bread bakers to learn to tame and bake with yeast.
I made Mir's Whole wheat Milk bread for the first day. I actually wanted to compare bread baking in US and in India, so I made this bread twice, once in US and then in India. The wheat flour and all purpose flour sold in India has low protein content when compared to the ones in US, so I wanted to see if there was going to be any major differences in the texture and taste of the bread. Here are my notes & observations:

  • Final bread taste in both cases was very similar. Texture wise there wasn't much of a difference either.
  • Due to the low protein in Indian maida and atta, I felt that the dough was a little softer and weaker while kneading. Also my mom was saying that the atta from North India feels slightly different from the ones available in the south. I think where the wheat is grown matters to the strength and protein content of the flour. Even with these differences, the final bread was chewy and almost like the one made in the US. 
  • I used a 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan in US, but used a 9x5" pan in India. The slight difference in pan volume along with the low protein flour content, made my bread rise much lower. My bread in US rose almost 1" above the rim of the pan, but in India it was about 1/2" below the rim, even after 1-1.5 hour second rise. I didn't want to wait too long, because sometimes longer 2nd rises might result in bread that sinks. 
  • The difference in the size of the bread slice can be seen in the below pictures. Bread in first pic was made in US and the one in the second was made in India. I didn't want to take a cross sectional picture of my Indian bread because it was too squashed and small.
Whole wheat Milk Bread made in the US

Whole wheat Milk Bread made in India

All purpose Flour - 1cup
Whole wheat flour or Indian style chapati flour - 1¼ ~ 1½cups
Active dry Yeast - 2½tsp
Salt - ½tsp
Milk - ¾cup
Water - ¼cup
Butter - ¼cup
Honey - 1tbsp
Butter - 1tbsp, melted

  • In a sauce pan, heat milk, honey and butter until butter melts. Let the mixture cool to 110F~120F. Add yeast and stir, set aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture is very frothy.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt and the yeast mixture. Knead into a smooth, elastic dough, about 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and set aside for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in volume. 
  • Grease a 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
  • Lightly punch the dough down and divide into 2 halves. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10"x7" rectangle. Starting from the narrow end, roll the dough into a tight log. Place the log seam side down in the prepared loaf pan.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough and place the log next to the first one in the loaf pan.
  • Cover the pan loosely with a greased plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until the dough crests 1" over the rim of the loaf pan, about 40 minutes or upto 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Bake the bread for 30~40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Brush melted butter on top for a softer crust.
  • Let the bread cool in the pan for 4~5 minutes. Then remove onto a wire rack and let the bread cool completely before slicing.
Here's a pictorial of bread making:
Yeast foaming

Dough ready for first rise

Dough after first rise

Dough ready for second rise
Let's check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up today for BM# 43.


  1. Well explained observation you have done with the flours in India, am sure it will be helpful for many, bread came out prefectly with super spongy texture.

  2. I was wondering how you got that heart shaped top until I saw that last picture. :) The bread has turned out really well.

  3. Awesome job Pavani, I am yet to do my breads, this is surely so helpful..and thank you so much for taking the efforts to show us the difference in both the conditions..:)

  4. I m new to baking. Should we be very particular about the cooling temperature or can it cool down to any temp?

  5. Looks great! I like the idea of trying the bread in two parts of the world.

  6. wow pavani bread looks fantastic and super soft :) perfectly shaped and lovely clicks !!

  7. really looks good. And actually they both look more or less the same. I have yet to try tbis one.

  8. Now you all tempting me to try these breads. The points you gave all are right Pavani I too found a little difference between flours in India and out side India. Comming to Atta when we use home made atta with bansi godhumalu that atta gives a better texture the store brought atta ( this is my vew)

  9. Such a lovely idea of trying out the recipe both in India and US. Very useful to explain to my mother. The bread looks really good. I am yet to make this one...

  10. Bread looks fabulous, awesome job Pavani.

  11. Fantastic post, Pavani. Your observations are surely noteworthy. Shall bookmark this post for the future!

  12. so informative to see the difference between the two


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