Friday, February 25, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

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 think I am gaining weight now that Luke moved back home.  He is a great cook, and I am an enthusiastic encourager.  The other night I told him I had been thinking about the Stromboli he had made us several days before.  A couple of hours later (bedtime to be exact) he came up stairs with a fresh, out of the oven, plate of Stromboli and homemade Bruschetta.  Needless to say, I did not give my waistline a thought, I simply devoured...(expect a post on dieting, exercise and loosing weight from me in the near future) Haha.

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.

The Whisper Mill is a convenient electric grain mill  which  can easily grind wheat (or other grains) fresh every time I make bread or desire flour.  I can store my wheat berries with no worries of spoilage and yet still have whole wheat flour when I need it (once berries have been ground into flour, the germ is exposed to oxygen, and will soon begin oxidizing, causing the flour to become rancid in a short amount of time. Mass marketing in the 20th century brought us flour with the germ removed, which gives a longer shelf life, but cheats us out of vital nutrients contained in the grain.  This is why I love to grind my flour fresh as opposed to buying it.  .  We recently started grinding some wheat berries that we had in storage for over 10 years.  The grains were fresh, clean and ready to grind.  The flour made delicious bread.  Wheat berries if stored in a clean, fairly cool environment, will actually remain nutritious and intact for thousands of years.  Wheat berries which were discovered in Pharoah's tomb were found to contain all vitamins and minerals still intact,  and were able to be sprouted and also ground for bread after 5000 years. God sure knows how to package and preserve food doesn't He?

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.

The recipe I use for my basic whole wheat bread is one I got from the little bread making supply store that we bought these machines from.  They were located in Denver but I can't even remember their name now... they are no longer in business. Everyday they did demonstrations for grinding wheat, making breads, buns, rolls, pizza etc. I have been using the recipe ever since.

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 Loaf

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.


  1. Pam, what are you trying to do with my waistline?!

    I can't get over how many beautiful things you made here. Delicious AND healthy.

    isn't that amazing about the wheat found in Egypt? Honestly, God's creation really does blow our minds, doesn't it ... and we only know a fraction of it. One day... :)

  2. Mom you and Luke need to open shop!!!! The final picture of the sandwich did it for me! Mmmmmm I am a product of that bread! And my mouth is saying "Elizabeth you need to feed me right NOW"! :P

    A jammed packed post full of mouth-watering yummies! Tell Luke I am so excited about his blog! :)

    Love you all so much!!

  3. Eyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeeeee!!!!
    Oh my word mom, I am now STARVING for all that gorgeous bread!!! I would just die for a slice of your steaming hot whole wheat bread with some butter slabbed on and a steaming hot cup of tea talking to you for hours and hours!!!

    I have such happy memories making bread with you mom. Grinding it, kneading it, making cinnamon rolls. I think I might need a couple of refresher lessons again. But you have now inspired me into looking up wheat grinders online!!! Jon will love looking too!!
    You and Luke are amazing!! Tell Luke I love him and I just can't wait for his blog to start!!

    ~ Marie

  4. Mmmm, thanks for the inspiration. Though we can't afford the mills for grinding, we do buy yummy organic wheat and make yummy bread. Bret loves it, tastes so much better than store bought. So today, off to the kitchen, 2 loaves of wheat, 1 cinnamon and 1 pan of sticky buns....mmmm. I would love the recipe for your egg noodles, I have one but don't like it much. Thanks for the yummy inspiration, and with the pregnancy who needs a waistline anyway, they are over rated. :)

  5. Pam, This post was really full of great imformation. I think I may be sold on the grider!!
    Tell Luke I would love to read his blog. Miss You Love Roxy

  6. Me too!!!! I want a streaming slab of bread and a smudge of butter too!!!!!! The hot tea and hours of charing would be worth any drive!!!! Love you guys, your blog is like coming home.
    So much love to you and your family!!!!

  7. I am now salivating like a mad woman, wishing for a sandwich like the one you made. ;-)

  8. Oh my goodness, would sure love for you all to come by for a visit. Would love to fix some hot bread and butter and jam and tea, and have a lovely visit with you. Danielle, I think you are closest, come on by.
    Love Pam