Monday, October 13, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

In my mind there's nothing quite as wonderful as fresh homemade bread. Even just the thought of it makes my mouth water. To me the smell of homemade bread wafting through the house is one of contentment and love. With six kids growing up, my Mom baked bread almost every day. I remember most days coming home from school and having a big, thick slice of it spread with butter. Of course I didn't appreciate it then as much as I do now. I remember my friends ranting and raving about how good the bread was when they'd come over. I remember thinking, "What? What's the big deal? Don't all Moms do this?" Now I realize, that no, not all Moms did it then and even fewer do it now. I love my Mom for what she created with her homemade bread. Not only healthy food for her family, but a delicious memory as well.
Here's my homemade bread recipe. It is a whole-wheat bread recipe with no white flour.  

Whole Wheat Bread
Printable Recipe

3 Cups hot water, microwave on high 2-3 min or until quite warm ( >110° F)
1/3 Cup oil
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp. salt (put in first before adding yeast)
½ Cup gluten flour*
½ Cup ground flax seed, optional (adds a great texture)
½ Cup rolled or quick oats, optional
3+ Cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (ground from hard white wheat)
2 Tbsp yeast on top of flour

Combine above ingredients in Bosch mixer with dough hook and mix. Add more whole wheat flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Then mix for an additional six minutes. Divide dough into 3 loaves (the dough will still be VERY sticky - so sticky that you won't be able to form your loaves without putting oil on your hands). Put dough in oiled pans. Let rise until double or until the bread fills the pans. While bread is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the bread has risen, bake it at 400 deg. for 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 25 min or until done.

*NOTE on the Gluten flour: I use Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour that I buy at WinCo foods in their bulk bins - or you can get a 25 lb. bag of it there if you order it. I think you can also get it at Walmart in smaller quantities - like 22 oz. pkgs. You only use 1/2 cup for 3 loaves so it lasts a long time. It allows you to make the bread with whole-grain flour and still have it light and fluffy and stick together. This really is not an optional ingredient - you can try to leave it out, but you will end up with denser bread, that is crumbly, doesn't have as long of a shelf life and really is not as enjoyable to eat. Another option (if you're looking for one) is to use a good quality, high gluten white flour instead of some of the whole-wheat flour (experiment with how much - maybe 2 cups or more to get it to a good stick-together consistency). I'd rather spend a little more for the gluten flour because you can use less of it (which means more whole-grain flour which is better for you) and still have a great textured, tasty bread.

Recipe Source:

Whole Wheat Bread on Foodista


Cherylyn said...

I've watched Heather make her homemade bread and had the delight of trying it fresh from the oven. It's delicious and incredibly healthy compared to bread you buy at the store. I haven't tried making it myself yet, but I look forward to trying it.

joanna said...

I have been baking our bread for a little while now, but haven't gone completely over to 100% whole wheat, I still use a combination of whole wheat and white flour. I didn't know the trick about the gluten flour, I will have to try that!

Alena said...

What a great idea? I've known about your expertise for awhile, but I'm glad everyone can hear these ideas now. So--I have a wheat grinder but no Bosch yet. How would I make this tasty recipe without the mixer?

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

To make the bread without the mixer, you'll need to combine the ingredients listed and beat it by hand. You may even want to put in less flour than listed to start with so it's easier to beat vigorously (the hard part is going to be the kneading). Then once that is thoroughly mixed in, you'll want to keep adding flour until it is still sticky but starting to form a shape. You'll want to start kneading it by hand at this point, but you will probably still need oil on your hands as you knead because it should still stick to your hands. You'll want to knead it probably 8-10 min. Then form the loaves and bake as directed. The bread should still taste good, but it may not stick together as good or last as long as the Bosch-mixed bread.

lois said...

Is the whole wheat flour the same as the freshly ground whole wheat? And what kind of yeast - just active or highly active? Also would you know approx. how much additional flour you need to add? Using a Kitchen Aid instead of a Bosch...

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...


You can use whole wheat flour that you buy already ground. That wheat is usually red wheat but I usually use freshly ground white wheat flour.

In my cost analysis of my homemade bread (see link above) I found that it took about 5 cups of hard white wheat, ground into flour. That works out to be about 7.5 cups of flour. You may find it needs a bit more or less depending on the humidity, etc. Instant yeast is what I use - SAF is a great brand. I think a kitchen aid would work great. Let me know how it turns out. It's still my favorite bread and have been making it for several years! Good luck.

Nancy A said...

Can you use a Kitchen Aid mixer to mix it? Really want to try this bread. I have made some awful wheat bread before and this looks great! The geese and ducks like my failures, though!

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Nancy, I've had others use the Kitchen Aid with success on this bread. I even have some friends that make it by hand so you should be fine. I've always used a Bosch, which is a powerhouse mixer. The main thing just to watch is that you add just the right amount of flour and make sure your gluten is developed enough when you stop mixing. I made a video tutorial showing step by step bread making tips if you're interested. Good luck!

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