First off I'm going to admit that I've made much easier and as tasty whole wheat bread. Not that this bread wasn't delicious, it was just a tad too dense for my taste. And in all honesty, it's not even really a whole wheat bread in that it involves a soaker, for which Mr. Reinhart suggests using various other grains. I ended up using some coarse ground wheat, corn meal, and some oats. This mixture is made the night before and left to rest on the counter.
This recipe also involves a poolish, also made the night before. Now here's where I'm going to admit that I deviated from the recipe. I've made many loaves of 100% whole wheat bread and I've never had success unless I add vital wheat gluten to the recipe. Mr. Reinhart's formula calls for high-protein whole wheat flour and I had no idea where to get that, so I added a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the poolish and then also added 2 tablespoons to the final dough recipe the next day. The dough came together perfectly and proofed well. I formed it into two loaves because he suggested using two 8x4 pans. I'm one of those who likes to use my 9x5 pans for baking bread and if I were to make this recipe again, I'd make it into one loaf and just use the 9x5 pan.
If you're a fellow Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge member, you'll understand why I'm dragging my feet on the 100% sourdough rye. I know I have to make it if in the end I want to claim that I baked myself through the entire book, but I think I may decide to omit that one and a few others that have received some less than stellar reviews. Now that I've POOO'd and hopefully not ended up in the slammer, I think I'll be able to pick and choose the breads that are left that I will most enjoy. After all, there really is no sense in wasting the time and money making something that you don't really think you'll like, right?
I'm off to make out with my new grandson for the next 5 days. Hopefully I'll have something to post about upon my return!