Recipes

Whole wheat bread

We probably all use a slightly different recipe for our breadmaking. Mom and Brietta mill their own wheatberries. I, however, buy mine already ground at the store. You know. The 5 lb bag of flour? Yeah.

But we do all love homemade bread. Who doesn’t? It’s relaxing to make — one of those therapeutic type of household chores — and it smells amazing when you pull it from the oven. Best of all, it elevates peanut butter and jelly to something almost worthy of dinner. Maybe. :)

This recipe is taken from one of my favorite cookbooks, Baking Illustrated. It started out as half white, half whole wheat. I slowly bumped up the whole wheat factor until it was 100% — at which point, Ryan ceased to enjoy it. Huh. I figured, a little white flour won’t kill us, especially if it means we’re eating more whole wheat in the end!

So here’s my variation.

Whole Wheat Bread
Makes two loaves.

1 1/2 T. yeast
2 1/3 c. warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. honey
2 1/2 t. salt

*stir a bit*

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white all-purpose flour

*mix on low (just till flours are incorporated, but still very lumpy)*

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour

Knead on low, with dough hook, for 8 minutes. (or knead by hand)
Add flour, if necessary — just enough so that dough pulls almost completely away from sides of bowl as it kneads.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds, or until smooth and elastic. Put in lightly oiled large bowl, cover, and let rise for 90 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Divide dough into two equal portions, place into greased loaf pans, cover, and let rise for 45 more minutes. (I set mine on the oven, and the let the preheating warmth do the work for me.)
Bake 34 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.

Discussion

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  1. Yeah, I definitely think I’ll give this a whirl. Loved your bread when I visited. Love what we do here, but a change is always in order when it’s a good change! Thanks.

    Posted by darlene | May 13, 2008, 5:38 pm
  2. For Danica, Brietta and Darlene – Do you bake all your bread? How on earth do you fit that into your days with little ones, Brietta?!!?

    Posted by Jackie C | May 14, 2008, 10:32 am
  3. @ Jackie — I’m pretty sure that Bri doesn’t bake all her bread, but does when she is able. I try to make the majority of ours, but end up buying many, many loaves to make up the slack or to cover those busy seasons. But nothing makes me feel healthier than eating my own bread made from fresh milled flour! I love that satisfying feeling, even though such productive seasons ebb and flow!

    The number of loaves needed around here is pretty amazing. Consequently, I could only keep up with the demand if I were a kitchen maid. But since I am not, and as of now don’t have a kitchen maid, we do what we can and buy the rest! ;)

    Posted by darlene sinclair | May 14, 2008, 10:46 am
  4. @ Jackie: I don’t make bread for everyday use any more. I used to, but for the past year, I’ve decided never buying store bought bread is one of the areas that I’m willing to compromise on for the sake of other things, in part because I’m not convinced that homemade bread is oodles cheaper when all is said and done.

    That said, I’m seriously considering buying a bosch universal (mixer) like Mom and Danica have and getting back into a regular routine of bread-making. Everyone who owns one tells me that regular bread-making becomes much more feasible with a bosch, and I really miss having all homemade bread in the house. It’s so delicious, not to mention really good for us!

    Posted by Brietta Paladin | May 14, 2008, 11:41 am
  5. I definitely don’t think that homemade whole wheat bread is the cheapest bread around, especially once you start using better oils, honey, fun things like seeds and nuts, and such. But the best part of homemade bread is the healthy benefits — it’s so good for you!! And the best yet is freshly milled flour. You lose a substantial amount of nutrition if flour sits around for more than a couple of days. Using fresh milled flour (check out http://www.doughrawme.com/health_freshly_milled_flour.asp) maintains more nutritional value, and it tastes so very yummy, too!
    So if and when you can, you should consider investing in a mill. I love using mine!

    Posted by Darlene Sinclair | May 14, 2008, 12:07 pm
  6. What kind of mill do you have?

    Posted by Wendy | May 14, 2008, 5:41 pm
  7. I have a WhisperMill, but the dealer I bought through is now recommending a NutriMill. I was satisfied with my online purchase through http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/index.aspx#Nutrimill

    If you go to their page and read the note under WhisperMill you will see why they are now recommending the NutriMill.

    I purchase my wheat berries through NorthEast Food Coop with Michelle Daniels and also in bulk at a local natural food store. I love having fresh flour for pancakes, muffins, granola, and even some cookies.

    Posted by Darlene Sinclair | May 14, 2008, 6:56 pm
  8. Sometimes I feel like I must have been on another planet for the last 5 years when I start to think about all the healthy eating information I knew nothing about. Freshly milled flour is another one that caught me off guard! But its baby steps for now with us.
    My Kitchenaid did a great job with this recipe. I set a timer for the 8 minute kneading time and took care of other things – so much easier than doing it by hand.

    Posted by Jackie C | May 15, 2008, 8:06 am
  9. @Jackie: I’ve never made a lot of bread along with raising 3 kids. :) But I will say, the hands-on time of breadmaking is so minimal. Especially in cooler months, if I get it started first thing, all I have to do is set timers to remind me to take care of the next step. But you do have to be home for several hours — or else make sure your outing is timed during rising periods!

    Posted by Danica Dunphey | May 15, 2008, 11:49 am
  10. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. I’ve been using the same one for awhile and would love something new. I am quite spoiled because my neighbor grinds fresh wheat flour for me- it’s a huge blessing! Thanks for the great recipes. BTW, I tried the Asparagus and goat cheese strata and loved it! :)

    Posted by Gina Murawski | May 15, 2008, 3:31 pm
  11. Does your bread rise very much? I’m on my third batch of it (thanks to having sandwiches for meals more often than I’d like to admit…) and I don’t think mine is rising very much. It just barely gets level with the bread pan. Iuse the large bread pans though, maybe that’s why? Any thoughts?

    Posted by Jackie C | May 19, 2008, 4:05 am
  12. @Jackie,
    I think it may be the large pan size because I had the same results. I wondered if it was the fact that I used fresh milled flour which is fluffier, therefore not as substantial. But then I wondered if maybe it was the pans. The loaves were smaller, but worked okay. And everyone enjoys the bread. I’m going to try my second batch today!

    Posted by Darlene Sinclair | May 19, 2008, 6:00 am
  13. @Jackie: I do use smaller bread pans, which I love much more. I used to only own one large bread pan, and I would put a very generous half of this recipe in the pan in order to get anything close to a “bread” shape! (The rest I sort of rolled out long and thin like a baguette and baked on a sheet… you do what you gotta do, right? :))

    I also make sure to let my bread rise at least as long as the recipe states. I like my bread very chewy, and the longer it rises, the more gluten it develops…I think! Anyway, I like it a lot better, even with a few air bubbles here and there!

    And yeah — it goes fast, huh? I usually alter the recipe and make 3 loaves. If I turn 2 into cinnamon bread for breakfast toast, it all just disappears — with just the three of us!

    Posted by Danica | May 19, 2008, 6:28 am
  14. Bri,
    I made these whole wheat loaves today and they have been such a hit! We’ve all enjoyed nice warm slices with peanut butter on top. Yum!
    Thanks for this recipe!

    Posted by Mary | June 2, 2008, 2:49 pm
  15. Oops- I meant Danica! I had been looking at some of the recipes that Bri posted, before this and you both post such yummy recipes!

    Posted by Mary | June 2, 2008, 2:50 pm