Thursday, March 26, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

Sunday afternoons is normally bread baking day. We go through too much bread. Seriously. So finding a recipe that made three loaves at once is great, except I can't make it in my nifty breadmaker. It's worth it though, because I've yet to find a good recipe here for making nice 100% whole wheat bread. Don't get me wrong, we've found some great recipes. We really liked this one, but it goes stale too quickly. On the upside it requires no kneading. On the downside it's texture is icky when it gets moist, which means french toast is kinda out. I also tried this one, but found the recipe too heavy, and the loaf was too small to be able to last us more then a few hours. I've also used a whole wheat (known as wholemeal here) bread mix where all I had to add was water and yeast. It's flavor was pretty bland, and again, it was rather heavy. Last, but not least, I stumbled upon this recipe. I really like it, but I wanted my loaf to be 100% whole wheat/meal.

Simply changing the recipe to be 100% whole wheat wasn't working because the bread wasn't rising high enough, which annoyed me, greatly. I played around and made a few changes, and am pretty happy with it. I'd still like to see it rise a bit more, but my loaves aren't flat and they last us about a week (sometimes less depending on if we have sandwiches or not through the week), so I can't complain too much! Here's the modified recipe:

100% Whole Wheat Bread

mix together:
4 c whole wheat flour
2 c whole wheat bread flour
1 c oat bran
1 c wheat bran
3/4 c gluten
2.5 T yeast

5 cups milk

2 T oil (or butter)
1/3 c of honey

make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet in. Mix well.

4 c wholewheat bread flour

mix well, you may need to dump it on the counter to knead it in. Once fully incorporated knead for 7 minutes. It's well worth the effort! Leave the dough on the counter and cover with the bowl. Let rest for 20 minutes. Then,

1.5 T salt

Knead well. Dough may "sweat" and separate a bit, but it will all go back together and make a nice round ball once all the salt is incorporated. Continue to knead for another 7 minutes. Your arms will get a great workout doing this, I promise!

Grease your mixing bowl well, and plop the dough in. Cover with a wet towel. Let rise until doubled in size, this takes about an hour. Plop on the counter and cut into three equal portions (I weigh mine to be sure I've got them reasonably even). Shape into loaves and put in greased bread pan. Let rise, covered, until doubled in size. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn out onto a cooling rack.

Notes: I get my whole meal/wheat bread flour from a local health food store. I found that 2 tablespoons of salt was just too much for us. It was a highly salty bread and we didn't like it. I add extra gluten because wheat bread isn't as glutenous as white bread, this encourages it to rise more. I upped the yeast content because of using pure wheat flour. I use oil instead of butter. I wrap my loaves in foil, stick in a LARGE ziplock bag and freeze until we're running low. Keeps them nice and fresh!

1 comment:

tdrowlee said...

Kendra - I like this whole wheat recipe, you can adapt it to fit your sweetner preference

Tristan from HSS