Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick Wheat Baguettes-King Arthur Flour Review

Tomorrow is my birthday! To celebrate, we've got bread (I love bread. Ask anyone) and a giveaway! Yay!
Quick Wheat Baguettes
Tomorrow may be my actual birthday, but when I received 4 bags of King Arthur's organic flour to review-it certainly felt like that was my birthday! 

If you're not (for some crazy reason) familiar with the brand, King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company, founded in Boston in 1790 to provide pure, high-quality flour for residents of the newly formed United States. More than 220 years later, they’re the nation’s premier baking resource, offering everything from top-quality baking products to inspiring educational programs—all backed by the passion and commitment of their dedicated employees and owners.
To learn more about King Arthur Flour, their philosophy and/or products, you can find them on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.  You can also sign up to receive e-mail updates that include everything from recipes to their latest product offers.  And don’t forget to check out their recipe page for fabulous step-by-step recipe ideas that use many of King Arthur Flour’s products! Their website alone is fab-they have so many amazing products and resources! 
And um, yeah, now they have ORGANIC FLOURS! I attempt to incorporate a lot of organic into my diet, and I use flour a lot so I was pretty ecstatic at the opportunity to try out King Arthur Flour's varieties. 
Here's a little run down about the flours I received and my (amazing) experiences with them:
King Arthur Organic (Unbleached) All-Purpose Flour: "A certified-organic all-purpose flour, produced from hard red winter & spring wheats. Slightly lower protein level of 11.8%." Obviously, all purpose flour is the go-to, it is the workhorse of flours in my kitchen. I've been using this flour like...almost daily, and everything turns out absolutely wonderfully!
King Arthur Organic (Unbleached) Bread Flour: "King Arthur’s organic unbleached high-gluten bread flour, milled from organically grown hard red spring wheat, is perfect for yeasted baked goods-bread, rolls, pizza, and more. 12.7% protein, a full point higher than other national brands. The higher the protein level, the stronger the rise. Use in recipes calling for bread flour, including bread machine recipes. Super when you're making rye or other whole-grain breads that have trouble rising their highest." Oddly enough, I've used this flour more in cookie recipes than bread ones (so far) but either way the cookies turned out thick and perfect, and the breads chewy and the whole wheat versions have a much higher rise than usual. Oh, and I used it for this bread recipe below. I'm officially in love with this bread flour :).
King Arthur 100% Organic (Unbleached) Whole Wheat Flour: "A certified-organic whole wheat flour produced from hard red spring wheat. King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat Flour works GREAT! Protein level: 14%. Ideal for all of your whole wheat baking." Whole wheat flour has been the 2nd most used flour in my kitchen, and I have absolutely loved the double layer of health (organic and whole wheat! woohoo!). And, this was another flour I used in the bread recipe below.
King Arthur 100% Organic (Unbleached) White Whole Wheat Flour: "King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour, milled from a blend of hard white winter and spring wheats, tastes milder and bakes lighter than traditional whole wheat. Protein: 14.0%.Called "The new miracle flour" by First for Women: 'Bakers rejoice! Now you can make all your favorite recipes with white whole-wheat flour. Recently introduced by King Arthur Flour, 100% Organic White Whole Wheat tastes milder than traditional whole-wheat flour but incorporates the three key components of whole grains: bran (packed with fiber), endosperm (full of protein) and germ (rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber).'" This was probably my biggest surprise. I have been incorporating some white whole wheat flour into almost ALL of my baking--it barely (if at all) affects the flavor and texture, but I know that I'm getting the added nutrition! Possibly my new favorite flour, love love love it!
Quick Wheat Baguettes
Now. About this bread.
It's perty.
And chewy.
And hearty.
And like...good for you n stuff.

Honestly? This recipe is very similar to that other baguette recipe I've shared. The biggest difference is that the bread flour combined with the whole wheat flour keeps it chewy and from getting too dense (like happens when you use too much whole wheat in the other recipe). But it's quick, tasty, and a perfect accompaniment to dinner, soups, chili, whatevs! Keep reading for the recipe, then after that the details on the giveaway(CLOSED)!

Quick Wheat Baguettes

From Confections of a Foodie Bride

Quick Wheat Baguettes
Makes 2 baguettes
  • 3 cups very warm (but not hot) water, divided
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour + extra for kneading
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • oil, to coat bowl
Quick Wheat Baguettes
  • Combine sugar, yeast, and 1 cup water in a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl if you have one)-sit for 20 minutes until frothy.
  • Add all of the flour + 1 cup water. Using a dough hook (on medium speed), or your hands, knead 5-7 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Cover loosely with a towel and rest for 15 minutes, preferably in a warm place.
  • Sprinkle dough evenly with salt and knead for about a minute to incorporate it.
  • Either transfer to an oiled bowl or, using cooking spray, oil the bowl it is currently in, and turn the dough to coat. Cover loosely with towel and allow to rise for about an hour, until doubled. (It needs to be in a warm place, or you can place the bowl in an oven that you have warmed slightly-but that is not on).
Quick Wheat Baguettes
  • Prepare baking pan by lightly dusting it with flour and/or lining it with parchment paper/silpat. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place broiler pan in the bottom of the oven.
  • Lightly flour work surface and transfer dough. Divide it in half. Gently pull each half into a rectangle. Take the top of the long side and press it into the bottom, crimping to seal (into a log like shape), folding in any scraggly ends. Place the loaves, seam side down, onto the baking sheet.
  • If you have time, allow the shaped loaves to rest for 20 minutes. 
  • Using a razor blade or sharp knife slash the top of the loaves every 2-3 inches-don’t press down and deflate your loaves, make sure the blade is sharp enough.
  • Pour remaining 1 cup water into broiler pan. Place baking sheet into oven. Close door and bake 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool on pan, then slice and enjoy!

The Winner is Jodie (Binomial Baker) CONGRATS!
Quick Wheat Baguettes

One lucky Cooking Actress reader will win a coupon for a free bag of King Arthur flour. Giveaway closes November 19th, 12 AM EST.  After the contest is over, I will send the winner an email (so please make sure you provide an email address or some other way to get in touch with you), and obtain shipping information (we do not share this information with anyone). The winner will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen, all prizes will be awarded. The winner will be chosen via a random number generator. Open to U.S. residents over the age of 18. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. 

Leave a comment on this post telling me how you'd use your King Arthur flour! If you need ideas, check out King Arthur Flour’s recipe page!

Additional (optional) entries: (you will receive one additional entry for each of the following--so if you leave a comment for all of them, you can have a total of up to 8 entries/chances to win! MAKE SURE TO LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY-these entries are optional, not required.
**If you already like/follow any of these, it still counts. Just let me know you already follow each in separate comments**
Disclaimer: King Arthur Flour  provided me with samples of product, and I was under no obligation to review if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. My opinions, as always, are all my own. We are not liable for technical failures or typographical errors, or resolving identity disputes related to the winner.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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