Friday, October 15, 2010

Foolproof Whole Wheat Bread

I used to be afraid of bread.  Well, not the bread per se but the making of said bread.

You know, get the water too hot you murder the yeast, too cold it won't come to life, let it rise enough but not too much, beat it up and let it rise again.  Mess any of that up and you will bake a rock instead of loaves of nice fluffy yeasty goodness.

Since I am a SAHM again I thought I needed to tackle this fear.  I also had a lot of wheat and a wheat grinder that I wanted to make use of.  So I turned to my lover, yes, the internet.  I Googled "foolproof whole wheat bread".  I figured with my lack of experience, foolproof would be the only way to go.

I looked around on several blogs (some were pretty scary talking about optional things like dough enhancer and things for texture, longevity, rise and crumb) and finally found one that was pretty straight forward.

I also read a really great tip on water temperature.  Make it like a nice warm bath.  I can relate to that.  Not too hot but not too cool.

Here is the recipe:
fresh out of the oven

Foolproof Whole Wheat Bread

5 ½ cups warm water
2 T. dry yeast
2 T. salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
12 cups whole wheat flour

  • Combine 5 ½ cups warm water, yeast, salt, oil, and honey in Bosch mixer bowl. Let stand 5 -10 minutes to activate yeast.
  • Add 8 cups of whole-wheat flour to mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients, then mix on low speed until well blended.
  • Add 3 – 4 cups more flour, 1 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (The amount of flour required will vary according to the moisture and protein content of the wheat. The stickier the dough - the moister the bread.)
  • Knead dough on low speed for 10 minutes.
  • Oil hands and working surface. Remove dough from mixing bowl and divide into 4 equal portions. Mold into loaves and place in oiled pans. (Oil top of the loaves if a soft crust is desired.)
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let rise 1/3 in bulk, or approx. 35 minutes.
  • Bake at 425* for 8 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350* for the balance of the baking period (27 to 32 minutes).
  • Remove from pans when done, cool on baking racks. Brush tops with butter or oil.

The other three loaves.
You know what!  It actually worked and it tasted wonderful.

The family liked it for toast and hot out of the oven but they weren't thrilled about it for sandwiches.  Said it was too heavy.  So this is when I kicked it up a notch.

I added Vital Wheat Gluten.  This is something that also used to sound scary to me.  Basically you add 1/2 a cup of this to the above recipe and it helps make the bread more moist and light. We bought it at our local grocery store but you can get it at health food stores if you frequent those.

Now, we pretty much only eat this bread.  We use it for sandwiches and it is wonderful.  Basically I don't fear the bread.  I make the bread and I eat the bread.  Hopefully you can too.

I have one more recipe for you.  Bakers Grease.  You grease your pans with this stuff and your bread pops out like a charm.

Bakers Grease:
1cup crisco
1cup flour
1cup oil

Mix this together and store in the fridge.  Use this for breads, cakes etc.  You can use a pastry brush or just a paper towel.

Now you know what I'll be doing in the morning!


  1. I think that's great. Vital wheat gluten works wonders. I use it in my wheat bread recipe too.

    I love bread hot out of the oven. There isn't much better!

  2. I was just telling my hubs that I needed to women-up and make some homemade bread! Thanks for this recipe!!!! I'm going to try it!

    Newest follower from SITS! And SAHM of 4 chickens:)

  3. I've always loved the smell of fresh baked bread but have never had the guts to actually make it from scratch. Your recipe seems like something I could actually handle. Maybe I'll give it a try for the holidays.

    Welcome back to blogging! I love your new look!

  4. This bread looks wonderful! Thank you!!


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