In our pursuit for healthier eating and after seeing the lovely whole wheat loaves of bread being sold at bakeries, many of us embark on a mission to bake our own home baked whole wheat bread. It's not too far fetched, we have been at least semi successful at baking white bread, why not whole wheat? We find out why when we pull the equivalent of a whole wheat brick out of the oven. You could build a retaining wall with that stuff!
Don't give up. I finally figured out that most professional bakers use dough enhancers to get those beautiful, well risen loaves of wheat bread.
I discussed lecithin and it's usefulness in the kitchen when making nonstick oil (see previous post), but it is also a dough enhancer and will boost the wheat gluten's rising ability. Other enhancers are dried wheat gluten, ascorbic acid and the list goes on (check the above link for details).
So, yes, we can bake light, well risen, wheat bread that we can be proud to serve to our family. We can relieve their stress at trying to say the right thing about the semi-edible brick we have served them. You know, something that won't hurt our feelings, but won't encourage us to bake this stuff again. Let's take them off the verbal tightrope by using gluten/dough enhancers in our bread.