Yesterday, Luke and I spent the day in the kitchen baking. I made whole wheat bread and hamburger buns, and he made pita bread, raviollis and egg noodles. I
So, Todays post is my favorite whole wheat bread recipe. It is what I make most of the time when baking bread..... and a few pictures of our baking and cooking day together.
The first of Luke's egg noodles drying.
Pita Bread fresh out of the oven.
Whole wheat bread rising.
I think homemade bread is beautiful, not only to taste, but also to look at. I think a loaf of whole wheat bread looks like a classical painting. About 12 years ago, Steve bought me 2 machines that I have loved. One is a Grain Master Whisper Mill, and the other is a Bosch Mixer.
Look at that pretty wheat. I didn't get a picture of my wheat grinder, but I did have this picture.
There are several good quality mixers on the market, but for making whole wheat bread, my favorite, is my Bosch Mixer, which is a wonderful heavy duty mixer that allows me to mix and knead dough in large quantities (5-6 loaves at a time), without worries of burning up the motor, which incidentally I did with a couple of bread machines years ago from excess whole wheat bread making.
The first mixture of bread dough sponging in my Bosch machine.
Basic Whole Wheat Bread
Grind approximately 10 cups Wheat Berries in your Wheat Grinder. This produces about 16 or 17 cups of flour.
In your mixing bowl put:
6 cups of very warm water (when it is hot to the touch, but not scalding)
1/3 cup oil (I use olive oil... you could use whatever you like)
1/3 cup honey (if you use the measuring cup for your oil first, then measure the honey, the honey comes out of the cup easily)
2 tablespoons yeast (I use instant or fast acting yeast)
5 cups wholewheat flour
Mix together and let sponge 10 - 15 minutes.... until bubbly.
Turn on mixer and add:
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/3 cup gluten (this gives the bread a softer, airier, stretchier texture; in recent years I have been leaving this out. I sometimes add a cup or two of white flour if I am craving that softer airier texture).
Approximately 9- 1l cups more flour) Each time you make bread, your flour measurements can be different, depending on the moisture in the flour or the moisture in the air, or whether the flour is freshly ground, or has been ground previously (the flour will be more compact, the longer it is stored as flour). The best way to determine if you need more flour is to watch as you put in each cup. Once it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, you have enough.
Add ins may be added at this point... such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, dill or caraway seed what ever you like.
Knead for 5-6 minutes if you have a Bosch Machine, or 7-10 with a standard mixer (if using a standard mixer, cut this recipe in half or 1/3), 13-15 minutes for hand kneading (not for me).
Put bread dough onto an oiled surface (this keeps the bread moist, where a floured surface can dry out whole wheat bread). Cut dough into portions for each loaf pan, pat them nicely into a log shaped loaf and place into oiled pan. This recipe makes 4-5 large loaves, or 5-6 medium loaves. I also use the dough to make pizza, cinnamon buns, hamburger buns and rolls.
I grease my bread pans with natural shortening or Pam type spray or you can also use a mixture of oil with a little bit of liquid lecithin as described below: Also, a narrow sided bread pan is best, in order to support the rising bread dough, providing better chance that your dough will not collapse in the center.
1 Tablespoon lecithin (this adds to the non-sticking quality of the oil)
2 Tablespoons oil
You can keep a mixture of this in your fridge for ready use.
Allow bread, or rolls time to double in size (this will vary depending on the temperature, and also the size of what you are baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread approximately 25- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaf. You may use a thermometer to check the internal temperature; you will want it to be about 195 degrees. I don't ever use a thermometer, but take it out once it is lightly golden.
Dough waiting to be oiled, and divided into loaves and rolls.
Rising Hamburger Buns
I added sunflower seeds to this batch of bread and rolls, which is a variation we enjoy.
Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns are a yummy way to enjoy healthy, wholesome, bread.
Cinnamon Buns rising
Look at that wholesome chicken salad sandwich with mounds of fresh veggies heaped onto the whole wheat bread.