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Monday, August 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

This is that "Mom's-homemade-warm-from-the-oven" bread that we all remember from childhood. While this is not my mom's recipe (have to give credit to Jodalyn for that), it IS a recipe that I love. With its 'no-fuss' process, it gets a thumbs-up from me, and with its perfect texture and yummy flavor, it gets a thumbs-up from all who eat it. It's a must make for the baker in us all!

*2 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1/3 cup honey (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup wheat gluten
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp salt
6 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl combine the water, yeast and honey. Allow 10 or so minutes for the yeast to proof. Add the oil, gluten, and powdered milk. Mix until combined and clumps are gone. Add the salt, along with 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add the remaining cups of flour one at a time while mixing the dough. Allow the dough to knead for several minutes. To check for flour content, the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but the dough should remain slightly sticky.

In an oiled bowl topped with a clean towel, allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (the time required for this will vary depending on factors such as the warmth of the room, etc). Punch it down, divide in half, and shape loaves. Place in bread pans, cover with towel and allow the loaves to double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Again, bake time could vary due to oven temperature. Play around until you find what works for you.

Cool on a wire rack, but make sure you cut a few thick slices while it's still warm. Enjoy!

*I used to feel intimidated by the pressure to make sure the 'warm water' is just the right temperature. Too hot, you kill the yeast; too cold, you have hard-as-a-rock bread. My recommendation (since I HATE the thought of hassling with a thermometer every time I want to make bread) is to turn your faucet as hot as it goes and pour it right in. My faucet gets VERY hot and I've never had a problem with yeast breads. So long as you can still stand to stick your finger in it, don't be scared to have it hot.


Jami and James said...

Yay for the recipe! I've tasted Taylor's bread and I think this recipe is a winner. The ingredients are pretty similar to other bread recipes, the thing that makes the difference is the vital wheat gluten. You can definitely make it without it - just add some other dough conditioner, such as lemon juice, or potato water. Add some kneading time if you take this approach to develop the gluten in the WW flour. The end result may not be as light as if you added gluten, but it will be good!

April said...

Mmm...we're eating it right now Elliot LOVES it, no surprise. I'll be making this often. Thanks, Taylor!