We eat a lot of bread in our house. We have very specific requirements for bread that make it challenging to find a good loaf at the grocery store. It has to be 100% whole wheat, contain no milk for our milk allergy child and contain no high fructose corn syrup. We end up spending lots on organic bread to meet all these requirements. So, I try to keep us well stocked on homemade bread. Following is the basic recipe that we love! I have just learned to bake bread in the last couple of years, and it is not nearly as hard as it would seem. I got started because a friend of mine gave me an Urban Homemaker catalog. If you are new to bread making, this is an awesome place to learn how to get started! The recipe that I use comes from Urban Homemaker. When we decided to start making our own bread, we invested in a grain mill so we can grind our own wheat, which makes a huge difference in the way the bread tastes! It is so much better than buying whole wheat flour from the store. We also got a big mixer so I can make 6 loaves at once. We usually eat one loaf out of the oven hot, keep one in the bread drawer and freeze the rest. Today I was feeling particularly ambitious, so I made 6 regular whole wheat loaves and 6 breakfast loaves with raisins, cinnamon and walnuts. There is nothing like the smell of baking bread!
Small mixer or hand method (yield 2-3 loaves)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (100 to 110 degree's F)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 6-7 cups fresh whole wheat flour (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dough enhancer, optional
- 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten, optional
To make breakfast bread add 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1 cup of chopped walnuts, 1 cup of raisins.
Double the amounts for a large mixer.
- Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl or electric mixer. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. This means you let the mixture sit and get bubbly.
- Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 cups more flour. Begin by using a regular mixing attachment to blend the ingredients well. As you add more flour, switch to a dough hook. Slowly add more flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.
- Continue kneading the dough 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth and elastic.
- Form the dough into 2 loaves and place in oiled bread pans. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free spot until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes.
- Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (You do not need to preheat your oven.) It is done when the top and sides are nicely browned and it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.