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(post, Jean Henrich)
You wouldn't think working through tried-and-true recipes from the experts would be considered "experiments," but I never know what will result from my efforts in the kitchen. So, experiments it is. My bug for making homemade whole-wheat bread is focusing on two main types: oatmeal and cracked wheat. Experiment #1: Oatmeal Wheat Bread from Epicurious.com Loved the flavor, but the bread was too crumbly - slices tended to fall apart. Experiment #2: Cracked-Wheat Bread from Beard on Bread Calls for "fine" cracked wheat, but I had coarse. Oven temperature a question. Loaves came out very moist. Good texture and flavor. Experiment #3: Cracked-Wheat Bread from Joy of Cooking Very similar to Beard's recipe, but calls for twice the cracked-wheat, double the yeast, and a cup more flour. The dough was massive, but after the second rising, it didn't keep it's loft. The loaves came out flat. Adjusted oven to agree with thermometer, so bread cooked at a higher temperature that the Beard loaves. Result: no extra moisture this time, but the loaf I didn't freeze started to get hard long before the Beard experiment (about 4 days for this loaf). Good texture and flavor, but at this point I think the Beard recipe is better.