Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread and Muffins

Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread and Muffins

Our assignment for the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day baking group was to make 1/2 batch of Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread.  Then we were to bake either a loaf or muffins.

  1. Used white whole wheat flour
  2. Made a 1 1/2 pound loaf, instead of a 2 pound loaf, leaving  enough dough for 9 muffins.  I wanted a loaf for dinner, as well as muffins for my hubby's snacks.

I made the dough a few days before baking, using a four-berry frozen fruit mixture of strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries and raspberries.  Isn't this a pretty dough? :

After making the dough, I put it in the


microwave to rise.  First, I put 1/4cup of water to heat in the microwave for a minute.  That creates warm steam, which helps the dough to rise.  

It's hard to tell if my dough has risen very much, if I don't make a whole batch.  So I put a post it note at the top of the dough when I set it to rise. 

Two hours later, you can really tell if it has risen!

First, I made the loaf bread.  I found this dough to be somewhat sticky, so I kept adding more and more flour as I worked with it.  

I wanted a rectangular loaf that would be easy to slice.  I found a folding technique in "A Blessing of Bread--Recipes and Rituals, Memories and Mitzvahs" by Maggie Glezer.  Ms. Glezer has wonderful interviews with long time bakers who share their recipes and baking techniques.  I just love reading stories of the bakers!  And they share their wonderful tips!!  One bagel and bread baker shared his folding method for a loaf of deli rye bread that would be sliced for sandwiches.  Start with a thick rectangle of dough. Then,
      "To shape the loaf, fold opposite edges in to the center of the dough and press the dough to even its thickness (1,2 below).  Roll the dough up from a long (not the folded) end (3,4) to make a log that is about 3 inches in diameter and 9 inches long.  (Basically, you want to make a short fat log so you will have big slices of bread for sandwiches.)  Roll the log back and forth to even it, then place it seam side down on the peel or board."

Then cover them with plastic wrap to rise.

As you can see in the picture below, this method created a uniform rectangular loaf:

I had enough dough left for 9 muffins.  This was just enough to make muffins in the muffin pan my mom gave me when I moved out to my first apartment.  I treasure this muffin pan, as the lack of shine shows a lot of wonderful baking done by my mother and myself:

I put lots of raw sugar on top of the muffins.  When they baked, the sugar made a nice, crackly crust on top.  My hubby is enjoying taking them to work to eat with his coffee.  It's much healthier than many other snacks!

Here's a picture of the interior of the whole wheat mixed berry bread loaf.  Really pretty colors:

We enjoyed this bread in our sunroom with our dinner.  I made the optional honey butter, but it tasted great without it.  

We also had chop salad, baked potatoes (baked along with the breads to save energy!), citrus salmon grilled on cedar planks (The recipe came with the cedar planks, yum!) and cherry pie (special treat for my hubby).

 Handwise tips:  If you have hand pain, tendonitis, or arthritis or any other pain issues and want to make this recipe,
  1. You might space it out over a few days.  Make the stored dough several days before.  You don't have to bake on the same day, that's the beauty of this dough!
  2. A mixer or food processor can help you.  You could put soapy water in it and run it for a few seconds to help clean it after removing the dough.  
  3. Then, if you are using a food processor, remove the dough hook/blade so that you can fill up the bowl even more.  Put an empty (cleaned)  container from 35mm film upside down, over the center portion and you can fill it up higher to soak. The water shouldn't leak out!
  4. When you shape it, let the dough rest if it resists stretching out.  Wait 10-15 minutes after doing the gluten cloak, and it easily should be able to be shaped.  Good time to have a seat and rest your hands!
  5. You might use a muffin scoop and a small spatula to remove the dough for muffins.  For some people, that's easier than squeezing the muffin scoop handle.
  6. Maybe making a loaf on 2 separate days.  You don't have to bake it all at once.
  7. Soak your tools in your empty dough bucket or a pan when you are finished using them.   That way, you can wash them easily later (or tomorrow!)  Give yourself the permission of time to clean up much later.
Thanks for stopping by to visit!  I hope you will leave a comment below.  Maybe you can add a handwise or time saving suggestion that will help others?

About the HBinFive Baking Group
The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the HBinFive baking group, check out BigBlackDog.



  1. I love my pans the darker they get also - it is a true sign of love - or at least love of baking.

  2. Your loaf is shapely beautifully. Thanks for the great photo tutorial. My berry bread turned out shockingly purple.

  3. Wow, Bonnie, purple bread? That might be fun, served with cream cheese. I used a four-berry mix, maybe the other colors kept it from getting purple. But purple sounds like fun!

    Thanks, Raelyn. I wasn't sure what people would think of my non-shiny pans. So many people seem to have such pretty looking cookware. I realized, recently, that mine hold a lot of memories.

    Hope the folding tip helps you, Old Pop!


  4. Great folding tips and beautiful bread. My pans are also not shiny and hold really good memories.