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Dec 29, 2008 05:59 PM

Whole-wheat sandwich bread: no eggs, no dairy. Possible?

I may be on a fool's errand, but I am determined to replicate a local bakery's honey whole wheat sandwich loaf.

Their ingredients are simple. Maybe too simple. Organic whole wheat flour, honey, salt, water, yeast. No eggs. No milk. No butter or oil. Yet the finished loaf is high, sweet, soft-crusted and flavorful. Keeps pretty well too, if tightly wrapped. The texture is just a bit crumbly and the rich, mellow wheat taste really comes through, but there's absolutely no sourdough tang.

I've tried to recreate it at home, mostly by omitting eggs, butter, milk and other ingredients from basic (no poolish or starter, basic ingredients/knead/rest/repeat approach) sandwich bread recipes I've found, mostly on the King Arthur site. The results have not been great: flattish, heavy loaves that tend to have a bitter/unpleasantly sour taste and overly thick crusts; my research keeps uncovering advice that suggests adding milk/fat/eggs for taste, rise, texture, etc. assistance. I'm sure that would help, but I'm determined to work out the purist recipe.

Any ideas? Is there a way to do a sponge or starter that won't result in a tangy taste? For what it's worth, I've been using KA white-wheat flour, good clover honey, water that's not too hot and not too cold, table salt, and Fleischmann's active dry yeast.

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  1. Hi lobsterfest, I have tried the Flax Bread Without Yeast, Gluten, Sugar or Dairy but it does require soy milk to it.This is how u do it,

    # Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F Grease a small loaf pan (about 4" x 7" or 10cm x 18cm).
    Mix together the flax meal, buckwheat flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum. The xanthan gum gives it a bit better texture, but could be eliminated.
    In a separate bowl add the oil, soy milk and lemon juice together.
    Once the oven is to temperature, mix the wet and dry ingredients together, put in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. (The lemon juice acts with the baking powder, and it's best to mix it, then go right into the oven.).
    Bake for 35-40 minutes.

    And do let me know how it turned out. :-)

    1. It might help to knead the dough for longer than you're used to doing, in order to develop the gluten.

      1. KA sells a "dough improver," which is something that is supposed to help with lift.

        1. Are you sure there's not even a little oil? If you put a little oil (even just a little nonstick spray) on top of the bread, it will make the crusts much softer and thinner.

          1. It seems they are using more honey than you are. You say the loaf is sweet. Lots of honey will create a more open crumb. They are probably also using more water and more yeast.

            They are also probably oiling their pans a bit, just not adding oil directly to the dough, though you could verify that.

            Also, they might be using white winter whole wheat, which is less tannic than red whole wheat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karl S

              I agree with your suggestions of more honey and possibly adding a bit of K-A white whole wheat flour to lighten the color and texture. I tend to use very long slow fermentations but that does give more yeast flavor that Badsha may not enjoy.