Sunday, November 22, 2009

Basic Whole Wheat Bread

I don't know about you, but I used to shy away from making bread because it was so labor intensive. Waiting while the yeast grew, knead, knead, punch, wait, punch, seemed to take hours! That all changed when my mom gave me this recipe for basic whole wheat bread. It's so easy. The photo above shows my whole wheat millet bread.

4 cups very warm water
3 Tb. yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar or honey, too, if you don't have brown sugar)
4 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar or honey. Set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes and allow the yeast to grow in a warm place. I usually put the bowl near the heated oven. Meanwhile, mix your flours and salt together in another bowl. When your yeast is all bubbly, pour your flour mixture into the large bowl and add oil. Mix thoroughly. When the dough is relatively stiff, pour it out onto a floured surface. You will need to add flour as your knead your dough. Knead the dough until it is a smooth mass and "bounces back" when you lightly press your finger into it. Place into a large oiled bowl and allow to raise for 40 minutes or until about doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and once again place it on a floured surface. Knead a few times, adding a small amount of flour if needed, and then divide the dough into three pieces. Shape into loaves and place into oiled bread pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until it is nicely browned on top and bottom and sounds a little hollow when you thump the bottom. Allow to cool, then place in bread bags and store. I usually put mine in the fridge to keep it nice and fresh.

*This recipe is pretty versatile, too. I've added oat flour, rye flour, gluten flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and millet to this recipe and it has turned out fine. As long as you maintain the seven cups of flour, it should turn out fine. You may have to experiment if you use other flours.

Surprise your family with fresh baked bread and enjoy the delicious aroma that wafts through your house while it bakes!

1 comment: