Monday, January 5, 2015

Easy & Delicious Whole Wheat Bread

I have had friends who make all their own bread. That has always seemed over-ambitious for me. Every time I have made bread, I have ended up with a very messy kitchen, a neglected to-do list and only "so-so" bread. It just didn't make sense to do that to myself on a regular basis...Until I tried this recipe. It is super easy and, with a stand mixer, only requires 10-15 minutes hands-on time. The bread is in the oven baking in less than an hour AND it tastes delicious, slices easily and thin enough to be used for sandwiches etc. I have officially made all of our bread for 4 or 5 weeks. For me that is saying a lot. :)

**Just a note on the gluten found in this recipe. It is a natural protein derived from wheat and provides elasticity, strength and added texture to the bread. It also helps retain moisture, prevent crumbling and extends the shelf life of the bread. If you do not want to use gluten flour, you may substitute whole wheat flour in its place.

4 (8x4 inch) loaves
7 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. gluten flour
2 1/2 T. instant yeast
5 c. steaming hot tap water (120-130 F)
2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2.3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (I use honey because the reason I started making bread was to avoid having so much sugar in our bread.)
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice
5 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together first three ingredients with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.

Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off (I find my gas oven needs 2 minutes preheating to get warm enough). Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes until dough reaches top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.

If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook and are kneading this by hand, gradually add last cup of flour to keep dough from sticking to counter. You will add more flour when kneading by hand than when using a mixer simply to be able to handle this moist dough. With wheat bread, always add the least amount of flour possible to keep bread moist. Knead 10 minutes before shaping dough into loaves.

My Kitchen Aid can only handle half this recipe at a time so that is how I do it.

I got this recipe from my father-in-law and it looks like the original source was Leslie Probert and the BYU Women's Conference 2003.

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