Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread {Recipe}


My husband LOVES this whole wheat bread, so I wanted to share it with you. Bread can be tricky, so I thought this how-to might be more helpful than just the recipe. First of all, this is mostly whole wheat. I don't like dense bread (for regular, every-day eating bread), so I use a 3:1 ratio of whole wheat to  bread flour. It helps so much! You might play around with the flours you like though. Also, be sure not to skip any of the ingredients. They are all important.

I like to use my bread machine to do the dirty work (the mixing and kneading), but the final baking in the oven so it looks like a nice, pretty loaf. 

To start, put the following ingredients in your bread machine on the dough cycle. If you aren't baking it right away, be sure to follow your manufacturer's instructions on the order of ingredients. If you are mixing it right away, that's really not too important. (This makes a 2-lb loaf.)
¼ cup sugar
3½ tsp fast-acting (bread machine) yeast
1-1/3 cups of warm water (~120°)
1/3 cup oil
4 cups of flour (I use 1 cup of bread flour [all-purpose doesn't cut it] and 3 cups of whole wheat flour; I get Gold Medal Stone Ground WW )
2 tsp salt
3 tbls vital wheat gluten (or 1 tbls per cup of whole wheat flour)

Let your dough cycle run up until the rise portion. Mine beeps when it is done mixing and kneading, at 30 minutes. Your dough should be soft like this. It doesn't need the first rise if you use fast yeast. If you use regular yeast, let your entire dough cycle run. (That will probably add about an hour to your total time.)



My mother-in-law always says, "Soft dough makes soft bread." Very true here!


Shape your loaf.


Put it in a greased bread pan.


Let it rise at least double, about 30 minutes. Make sure this is happening in a warm kitchen! I often turn my back burners on low just to provide nice warmth for the yeast. It will rise much faster and better if it feels all cozy.


Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350° . I have nailed mine as perfect at 27 minutes. Not to be specific or anything. Obviously, the longer you bake it, the darker and thicker the crust will be. I like to butter the crust immediately after it comes out so the crust stays soft. Plus, that gives it a little salty yumminess on the outside.



Try to move your oven racks so this doesn't happen. Heh heh.


Take one bite and then pass the goodness on to someone else in your family, since you're on a low-carb diet. Siiiggghhhhhh......

{Hint} The bread is much easier to slice if you wait until it's cooled. ......But why???

If you use gluten, bread flour, and the right whole wheat flour, you will end up with a bread with great texture. Mmmmmm! :D

Let me know if you have any questions!

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7 comments:

  1. Yay! Yay! Yay! I really need to keep trying this recipe. I think it has more to do with my bread machine... Your bread is always so beautiful!

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  2. If you just let your machine do the mixing and not the baking, that takes a lot of the guess work out. Let me know if you try it!! :-)

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  3. This just looks SOOO delicious!! And it IS delish--I've had it! :) So glad you finally shared your secrets!!

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  4. It let me comment!!!! You guys don't even know what you're in for now...

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  5. This bread looks amazingly soft. I am able to get the flavor I want with my recipe, but not that soft texture. I hope this doesn't have to do with a bread machine, because I don't have one. Do you have any tips for those of us without bread machines?

    Amy

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