Monday, June 21, 2010

The Best Whole Wheat Bread

Looks yummy, right? Trust me, it is. I thought I'd share a couple of recipes with you today. I have to be honest, though. This is not my recipe. I found it a long time ago while blog-hopping and I can't remember who I got it from. If you happen to recognize it, please let me know so I can properly credit them!
All notes are the person that created the recipe, not me.
Oh, and I got that HUGE loaf pan from Kitchen Collection. Amazing little kitchen shop for those that haven't heard of it.
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
10-12 c whole wheat flour
2 T dry yeast
1/3 c gluten flour
4 c warm water
1/3 c Applesauce or vegetable oil
2/3 c honey
1 T salt
Place flour into mixer equipped with dough hook. Add dry yeast and gluten flour. Pulse to mix well. Add water, and mix for 1 minute. Turn off mixer, cover bowl, and let sponge for 10-15 minutes (this makes it so you don't want to keep adding flour later on! The flour in there will start to absorb the water and make a nice, soft dough. Plus, it makes a lighter bread and reduces kneading time). Add applesauce (or oil), honey, and salt. Turn on mixer, and quickly add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of hte bowl. The amount of flour needed may vary. Knead 7-10 minutes (by hand 12-15 minutes) or until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rise in bowl about 10-15 minutes (this can be skipped if in a rush, but makes the dough easier to form into loaves and makes bread a bit lighter). Place in lightly oiled pans and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until double. Bake in 350 degree oven for 28-35 minutes.
Makes 4 - 4"x8" loaves or 6-7 - 3"x5 3/4" loaves.
Little tips the author has learned:
Use fresh ground wheat. Mill it yourself if possible.
Using applesauce makes it fat free.
Increase your honey to make it more of a honey whole wheat. Use 1 c honey or 3/4 c honey and 1/4 c molasses to make the bread dark and rich.
White wheat tends to make a lighter bread, but hard red wheat has more protein per grain and contains more gluten. Compromise and use half white and half red.
Bread takes about 2-2.5 hours to make.
Oil your hands and work surface. Don't use flour! It'll dry out your bread.
Some additives you might be interested in:
1 c buttermilk instead of 1 c water
500 mg vitamin c with your flour
2 T lemon juice instead of Vitamin C
2 T dry or liquid lecithin
Replace 1-3 c whole wheat flour with white flour
Don't use all of these, but try some of them.
The author has added 2 c white flour in place of 1.5 c wheat flour and 1/2 c gluten when she was out of gluten.
Don't use wide loaf pans. Wheat dough is heavy and can't support itself in a wide pan. 4"x8.5" is a really good size. The one I posted the link for is much longer, but I've had success with it.
Watch your oven temperature. All ovens vary. Look for loaves to be golden brown and make a hollow sound when thumped.
The author's sister preheats her oven to 400 degrees while the bread is rising. Then place the bread in and immediately turn it down to 325 degrees. Then bake for 35-40 minutes. The author has forgotten too many times to turn down the oven, so she doesn't like doing it this way, but when she gets it right, she really likes it. It kills the yeast and keeps the bread from rising too high and keeps it more dense and soft.
To keep your crust soft, keep a spray bottle on hand. When you remove the pan from the oven, place it on a cooling rack, mist it lightly, and cover with dish towels. You can also cool bread under damp dish towels.
Enjoy your yummy bread! We ate ours right out of the oven with honey and butter. Yum!

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