Sunday, November 23, 2008

D's Favorite Whole Wheat Bread

We make a lot of bread in our house, especially since my husband, Todd decided to become a master at artisan bread baking. So I tend to leave most of the white flour-based breads to him, but whole wheat is my domain. I grew up in a house where we ate whole wheat everything - bread, pancakes, waffles . . . you name it. So when it comes to sandwich bread (artisan breads are a whole separate matter), quite honestly, I have a hard time even looking at white wonder bread-types, let alone the thought of eating them. (The only white sandwich bread I will eat is Grandma Sycamore's, which can be found out in Utah - that's my one exception).

So, this is my family's favorite whole wheat bread recipe, which my mom passed on to me from Walton Feed. It is incredibly moist and oh-so-yummy!!!

Since I'm a huge fan of whole wheat, let me just share a few tips with you. Nowadays, I use almost exclusively hard white wheat. There are a lot of people out there who aren't crazy about whole wheat because of the texture or density of it. The hard white wheat, as opposed to hard red wheat, is not as dense or quite as nutty flavored, but still contains all the same nutritional value as the red wheat. For this reason, I can often substitute up to half of the wheat in things like cookies, etc. and people don't even know the difference.

I've had people ask me where to buy the hard white wheat, and it's super easy if you live out west, especially Utah, where you can get it at grocery stores like Macy's or emergency preparedness places. Out here in Iowa, I have to drive to an Amish store and buy it there, but I can buy it in bulk and it's great.

My next tip is that if at all possible, it is ideal to use freshly ground wheat because after it is ground, it starts losing some of its nutritional value as it sits on your shelf. That doesn't mean that the ground whole wheat you've had for several months isn't still healthy - it is - but it is at it's absolute nutritional best if you use it straight from the grinder.

Ok, you're probably sick of my ranting, so I'll get on with the recipe! This recipe makes 4 loaves and fills my Bosch mixer completely. So if you have a smaller kitchen aid or other smaller mixer, you should probably cut the recipe in half or it won't fit.
3 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp. salt
3 3/4 cups hot water
5 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar
12 cups whole wheat flour, divided
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. In a large bowl (or mixer), mix the honey, oil, salt, 3 3/4 cups water, lemon juice and 6 cups of the whole wheat flour. Add the dissolved yeast mixture to the bread mixture and mix for 7-10 minutes to get the gluten working.
Gradually add in another 6 cups whole wheat flour; knead for 5 minutes in mixer (if kneading by hand, mix all ingredients and knead by hand for 10 minutes. If dough seems too sticky, add enough flour to get past sticky point, but remember that too much flour causes bread failure).
Let stand for 10 minutes. Divide and shape into 3 to 4 loaves (I always get 4 big loaves out of this). Place in greased bread pans and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. This is so good while it's still warm with homemade jam!


Shane and Becca said...

yay! I am trying this!