Sunday, March 11, 2012

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

This is the bread that K says is better than any other.  She even helps me make it now.  It’s her favorite and let me tell you, it is sooo easy!  I’ve only recently started making yeast breads again because for some reason they’ve never agreed with me before.  Either it wouldn’t rise properly or it just came out dense and brick-like.  I had come to the conclusion that I just didn’t have the right touch for making breads no matter how hard I tried.

Then one day, someone explained to me that the best way to tell if a bread dough has enough flour is that it should feel slightly tacky but not sticky.  It shouldn’t stick to your hands while kneading but it shouldn’t be so stiff and dry that you can’t knead it properly. 

So that’s the problem?!  I’m adding too much flour??


Turns out, that theory has proven to be true.  I don’t know how I didn’t know this before.  I’m a little slow sometimes, I admit it. 

There have been no bread mishaps since I’ve resisted the urge to add more flour than is necessary.  I just always thought it needed more.  Also, I never knew what ‘warm’ meant when referring to the water temp.  How warm?  Hot warm?  Cool warm?  Somewhere I learned that it should be about the temp that would feel comfortable on your head in the shower or if you were washing your hair over the sink… warmer than I would have thought.  Seems to work so that’s the ‘warm’ I go with now.

This recipe came from my Worldwide Ward Cookbook (awesome book!).  I only adjusted the temperature and the baking time because the first time I made this it was still doughy in the middle… YUCK!  The temp was way too low and the time was too short. 

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

Combine 4 1/2 tsp. (2 packets) yeast and 3/4 c. warm water in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour and stir vigorously.  Now you need to ‘sponge the dough’ by allowing the mixture to sit for about 45 minutes, covered with a towel. 

Add 2 1/2 c. warm water and 2 c. of whole wheat flour.  Mix well.

Add 1/2 c. wheat gluten, 1/3 cup honey, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, 2 1/2 tablespoons oil.  Mix well. 

Add another 4-6 cups whole wheat flour (mine always takes 4-5), one at a time and mixing well inbetween, until it is good bread consistency (slightly tacky but not sticky).  You’ll have to mix the last bit in by kneading. 

Knead for 10-15 minutes. 

Shape loaves and place into 2 greased loaf pans.  To shape my loaves I like to roll it out like cinnamon rolls, making sure that it’s at least as wide as the pan is long.  Does that make sense?  It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfectly rectangular.  Roll it up like cinnamon rolls (not too loose or too tight, just firm) and tuck under where needed to fit properly into pan. 

Allow to rise until double in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). 

Bake in preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from pans onto cooling rack.  My whole family LOVES this bread.  We haven’t had to buy a loaf from the store for about a month now.  



LeShel said...

Making this today. I have a wheat recipe I love but yours looks like it holds together a little better. So, waiting for it to sponge right now and then we start mixing and I just can't wait to eat. Love homemade bread.
Thanks for sharing

LeShel said...

Made it... delicious. I let it rise too long because I was at the grocery store but still really yummy and held together well. Thanks!

Brooke said...

Yay! I'm glad it worked for you. Thanks for letting me know.