Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread.

This is my very favorite Whole Wheat Bread recipe.  I'll tell you why.
a.) It is delicious
b.) It is easy
c.) It is fast--as in from start to finish...just over an hour!

Serious.  Okay, if you include the time you spent grinding your wheat, then maybe an hour and a half.  Still, not too shabby if you ask me. 

I found this recipe through a friend a couple of years ago, and never looked back.  I have played with and tweaked it to just how we like it.  For instance, I've made it 50% White 50% Whole Wheat before.  I've actually made this recipe with all white flour, and it makes a great White Bread recipe too.  If I've been low on milk, I've used all water for the liquid and it turns out fine.  I've also played with the wheat that I use.  I prefer to use all Red Winter Wheat, but Spencer thinks it's a bit too coarse, so now I make it with a mixture of 50% White Winter Wheat, and 50% Red Winter Wheat.  Just tweak it to how your family will like it best.

Give it a try.  Your family, friends, neighbors and your mailman/mail woman will all thank you!

Favorite Whole Wheat Bread
{adapted from recipe HERE}

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp instant yeast
8 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten--{I use the Bob's Red Mill}
1/2 cup oil
1 Tbsp salt
8 cups freshly ground Whole Wheat flour

Mix water and milk together and microwave until very warm {115 degrees is about right}.  Add honey and yeast, and stir well until yeast is dissolved.  Set aside for 10-15 minutes to let the yeast activate.  It should have doubled or tripled in size.  Add 4 cups of the flour and 4 Tbsp of the gluten, and mix well.  Add the oil and the salt.  Mix well.  Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the gluten and continue to mix until all the dough is pulled from the sides of the bowl.  Dough should be soft and pliable.

Cut dough into 3 equal pieces, and shape into loaves by tucking the sides underneath snugly, then place in greased bread pans.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. {I like to place mine of the top of my oven while it's warming}

Bake for 30 minutes @ 325 degrees.

As soon as they come out of the oven, brush tops generously with butter, remove from pans and set on cooling racks to cool.

::  Notes from my kitchen  ::

  • this bread freezes very well.  once it's cooled, just slice it and place it into a ziploc freezer bag before placing it in your freezer.

  • you can use store bought whole wheat flour, but you won't get as good of results as with freshly ground flour.  whole wheat flour loses it's nutrients very quickly after being ground.  3 or 4 days.  i like to grind up a bunch and keep it in the freezer so that i have whole wheat flour on hand when i want it.  frozen, it will last for a couple of months before losing nutrients.

  • if you don't have a wheat grinder and are not in the market to buy one, don't worry.  check around with your friends and ask to use their grinder.  i'm always happy to let anyone grind wheat if they need to.

  • if you're not going to store your flour in the freezer, only grind as much as you'll need.  for this recipe, i usually grind 3 1/2 cups each of the red wheat and the white wheat.

  • don't worry about your loaves looking pretty.  this will come with time and practice.

My last piece of advice for you:  grab a warm piece of bread and slather that baby with butter and honey or your favorite jam.  Heaven, I tell you.


Lee said...

I love that bread. And I am glad you love it too. I went a few months where I made all of our bread with it.. I think once my life is less crazy I will go back to that.

PRP said...

Yum. I'll have to give it a try once my life slows down a like 12 years.

vwbabe said...

Thanks Tiff! I am going to try this today! I have a bread recipe that I love so this will be interesting to see how it matches up.

Unknown said...

I don't think there is anything much better than warm bread and butter! Yum!

tharker said...

I wholeheartedly agree, Jenn!