Friday, February 20, 2015

Best Whole Wheat Bread


This is a little (just a little?) off topic.  I have spent time modifying my20150220_073652 favorite bread recipe so that it is entirely whole grain.  It makes 2 regular sized loaves.  Here’s how you make it.


Start with:

  • 4 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 packages or (1 T + 1.5 t yeast)
  • 3 T vital wheat gluten

Mix these together until well-blended.

Run your tap water and measure until it is 120 degrees (if it is not that hot, microwave the water until it is.

In large measuring cup or bowl, mix together:

  • 3.25 c. hot water
  • 1/2 c. honey (wild honey tastes the best)
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just blended.  I use a Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook, but you can mix by hand.  Put one more cup of flour on top to keep it warm, but do not mix in.  Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or more.   After the 10 minutes have elapsed, mix in the dry flour and gradually add 2-3 more cups of flour.  You want the dough moist and not forming into a ball. 

When it is moist but stiff enough to form, form it into a ball and then knead it a few times.  Form it into a ball again.  Spray a large bowl with cooking oil and roll the ball in the oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to raise.  You do not want the volume to double.  If you are using the quick yeast it will take about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes at the proofing temperature of my Bosch oven.  It will take longer at cooler temperatures.

When it has risen, it will be almost twice as big as it was before and be filled with air.  Punch it down, divide it in half.  Take each half and form it into a cylinder and put in pre-oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan.  (If your pans are smaller you will use a smaller amount, but the dough should come up about 3/4 of the way on the pan.)  In the pan, punch it down again until it is filling all parts of the pan.

Put the pans in a warm place, cover with oiled plastic, and let rise until the bread is about 1 inch above the top of the pan.  Then raise the oven temperature to 375.  Brush or spray the top of the bread with water to make a nice crust,  and bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 120 degrees. (I recommend an instant read thermometer like the Thermo Pop or Thermo Pen). 

Remove from oven and let cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Spread with butter and enjoy!

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