Monday, January 19, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

Baking bread from scratch is often thought of as an ordeal best left to those with lots of time, patience, and a whole lot of know-how. But I'm here to tell you that it's really not that hard. No really. I promise. All you need is a few basic ingredients, a mixer to do all the tough work for you (unless, of course, you're feeling like you're kneading, I mean needing a workout), and a few hours around the house. You just can't beat the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house...

There are dozens of fantastic recipes for whole wheat bread out there. I, however, am quite partial to my mom's recipe, it being the one I grew up on. It's moist, delicious and flexible; sometimes I follow the recipe and sometimes I throw in a bit of oatmeal or rolled oats or more or less get the point. But no matter what I do, I've never had a loaf turn out badly. A batch of this bread makes about 5 hearty-sized loaves, so I usually freeze a couple of them to eat later. Save some of your old bread bags to store the extra loaves in.

Whole Wheat Bread
Recipe from Kathy Hill
Picture by Kelly

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup hot water
5 cups warm water
2 tablespoons salt
2/3 cup oil
1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
1/3 cup honey*
1/3 cup molasses
2-3 cups white flour
6-8 cups wheat flour**
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl and let yeast rise, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 cup of white and 1 cup of wheat flour with remaining ingredients.
  3. Add yeast mixture to flour.
  4. Add remaining flour one cup at a time, alternating white and wheat, until dough is no longer sticky. Knead about 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 1.5-2 hours).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gently press the air out of the dough and divide into 4 equal balls. Shape into loaves (do this by rolling each ball into a large rectangle, and then rolling it up like a cinnamon roll).
  7. Place dough in greased loaf pans and bake 30-35 minutes, or until bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
*Pour the honey and molasses into the same measuring cup used for the oil. The residue left from the oil will keep the honey and molasses from sticking to the sides.
**For a lighter wheat bread, use more white flour and less wheat flour. For a heartier bread, use more wheat and less white.


Kristi said...

hahahaha KNEADING a workout hahaha you are quite the punster eh sister! hahaha I LOVE this bread yum yum yum yum! with butter and honey yum yum yum!!!!!!!!!

e said...

Awesome! I was just thinking the other day to email you for your wheat bread recipe.

Jessie said...

We are having home baked bread and trimmings for dinner tonight. Thank you for the inspiration.

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