Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

I love bread and so do my kids. Who doesn't!? I would have to say of all the homemade whole wheat bread recipes I have tried so far, this is the easiest, fastest, and best tasting. This recipe (which requires the use of my mixer) caused me to donate my no longer used bread maker. Never once did I have a successful 100% whole wheat loaf in the bread maker anyway! I wish I could remember where I found this recipe and credit the owner, but unfortunately I can't find the link.

Ingredients:
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp. softened butter
2 1/2 cups hot tap water
vegetable oil
In a large bowl (or even your mixer bowl, I am all about saving work when it comes to washing dishes), combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir well. Add the honey, butter and tap water to the dry flour mixture. Next step is to beat the mixture with a stand mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 

Fit the mixer with dough hook. Add another cup of flour and knead for 2 more minutes. Gradually add just enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (this all depends on the dryness of the flour). 

Today, I only needed 5 1/2 cups of flour. Using the mixer with dough hook, knead the dough for 4 more minutes. At this point, the dough will still be sticky.

 

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise til double (only 1-2 hours later). I have even left the dough in the mixing bowl and covered with plastic cling wrap. After the dough reaches double size, punch down (literally take your fist and punch it with all your pent up aggression!) and divide dough into two portions. 

The original recipe requires you to grease two loaf pans (8-1/2 X 4-1/2 X 2-1/2), form 2 loaves and place in pans, but I do not have any loaf pans at the moment, so I place the loaves side by side in a 9"x12" oven safe glass baking dish. Set the pans or pan in a warm place to rise until doubled.

The final step before enjoying this delicious home baked bread is to place in a preheated 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped on bottom. Remove loaf from pan immediately and cool on a wire rack. Brush loaf tops with melted butter, slice and enjoy!