OK, do you have some time? Because this post is a dosey. Before we start, many thanks to my faithful photographer, 8 year-old Tressa, for sticking with me when I was too sticky to touch the camera. She was a pro.
I’ve been making whole wheat bread for years. The Doc’s family has deep homemade bread roots and when I married in the family I had no idea that it was humanly possible to make your own bread. I had never done it before, never seen it done, never known another human being who had actually done it.
After I got married, I was introduced to some ladies who made their own homemade bread (sans bread machine) and invited myself over to get some bread making lessons. Then, I took some classes at some local shops in AZ and pretty much that’s where I learned the ropes.
People have asked for my whole wheat bread recipe for years, but I am always very slow to share. The reason is not because I’m one of the those secretive recipe hoarders (Exhibit A: this blog), but because most people don’t have the right equipment.
I only know how to make bread with these two leading ladies:
My two faithful sidekicks are about 13 years old. They have seen me through thick and thin, tears and sorrows, bliss and joy. In other words, they take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. I swear I could water ski behind this Bosch, the engine is powerful. Bosch did not pay me to say this, but if you want to make bread — BUY A BOSCH.
As for a wheat grinder, I have an antique Whisper Mill (should be renamed to the Scream Mill — the sucker is loud!). I know the newer ones are called NutriMill Grain Mill and are dream machines.
I have tried using this recipe with a mixer (it ended up in the garbage because it was fried), I have tried with my hands (it took too long and I like to work my arms out with dumbbells, not kneading bread), and with a Kitchen Aid (I reduced the recipe, but it was smoking big time at the end. Near death experience for the Kitchen Aid.)
I was given this particular recipe from a place in AZ called Shar’s Kitchen. They have free demo classes regularly and can solve ALL your bread making woes. I’m sure there is a Shar’s Kitchen – type shop in your neck of the woods. If not, just go check them out online and you can order your ingredients there. (I was not paid in any way, shape or form to endorse Shar’s Kitchen).
Onto the recipe:
Whole Wheat Bread
by Shar’s Kitchen
6 cups of warm/hot water
2 Tb. sea salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey
3 Tb. dough enhancer
2 cups of high gluten bread flour OR 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
3 Tb SAF instant yeast
8 cups of freshly ground flour (to being with)
**10-11 cups of un-ground grain will make enough for this recipe
Makes 5 luscious loaves.
Let’s M.C. Hammer this thang and break it down:
Let’s pause and ask the question many ask:
Do you have to grind the wheat? Can’t you just buy it at the store?
Most whole wheat at the store is red wheat. Again, it will work, just not what I prefer. I really feel that freshly ground wheat knocks store bought wheat out of the ball park. But, if you don’t have a mill and your birthday is still 9 months away, just try the store bought stuff. What have you got to lose?
Add the rest of the ingredients. Turn on mixer to Speed 1.
Trainer Momma Tip: Add the oil first, then use the same measuring cup for the honey. This will allow the honey to slip right out.
2. You can see the bottom of the bowl.
Roll up the dough from one side.
Take your roll of dough and Jackie-Chan-karate-chop the sides. Yell “HIIIIYAAAHH!” when you do this.
Warning: Your bread will not work if you do not yell this loud enough.
Tuck under the sides. Look at this cute little loaf!
Now, for the violent part my kids love the best…
Cradle your cute loaf in your hands like a newborn baby.
Now SLAM that baby, I mean dough, on the counter.
Do this 2 or 3 times. This gets all the air bubbles out of the dough.
It also out resolves any hidden frustrations that you might have at the time. It is more therapeutic than boxing and will save your hundreds of dollars in therapy bills.
Make 5 loaves and put them in your gnarly pans.
My pans are approximately 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches.
Cover the loaves with a thin kitchen towel.
Preheat oven now for 350 degrees. If you don’t do it now, you’ll forget, I promise!
Johnny Scott is using a calculator as a cell phone. Funny.
Let the bread rise 30-60 minutes until the loaf is about 2 inches above the pan. Sometimes, at 30 minutes, the bread is just not risen enough. So, I exude all self control and just let them do their thing. This will make beautiful, smooth loaves in the end.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Take out of pans and let cool on cooling racks.
You can bag them up (I just use big ziplock bags) when they are TOTALLY cool.
The bread can be frozen up to 30 days without freezer burn.
75 calories per ounce. One slice is usually 1.5 – 2 ounces. Or, if you are like my kids, one slice is about half of the loaf.