Friday, March 04, 2011

100% Whole Wheat Bread


It is so much cheaper to bake your own bread than buying it in the store. I buy 5 lbs of  King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour for around $3.00 and it yields at least 5 loaves of bread! I buy my active dry yeast in bulk at the health food store. It is MUCH cheaper than buying the yeast packets at your grocery store. If you don't have a health food store, it is worthwhile to buy it online and store it in your freezer. 

Many people are intimidated by baking bread, but I hope this post will inspire you to give it a go! It sounds much more complicated than it is. I have been baking for so long that I never measure anything, but I actually did for this recipe so I could post it! 

I have no baking science background, but this is what works for me, so I run with it. Old time readers here will remember that I used to post quite a bit about bread! I've been baking bread on a regular basis since 1991. 
The ingredients are simple! Flour, vital wheat gluten, yeast, honey (or sugar), vinegar and salt. 

I eat local honey. Many people don't so just sub 1 T of sugar or agave for the honey if you have an issue with it.
Melomeals Simple Whole Wheat Bread
·       4 c warm water
·       1 T active dry yeast (not instant)
·       1 T honey, sugar or agave
·       3 T vinegar
·       4 c white whole wheat flour
·       2.5 c whole wheat flour
·       ½ c vital wheat gluten
·       2 t salt
Method:
1.    In a very large mixing bowl add the water, yeast and sugar. Allow mixture to bloom for 5 minutes
2.    Stir in vinegar and 4 c flour until smooth
3.    Set aside for an hour
4.    Mix the remaining flour , gluten and salt
5.    Use as much of that mixture and knead for around 10 minutes using just enough flour to keep things from sticking. You can put some oil on your hands to keep the dough from sticking. It is better to do this than keep adding flour. You want this dough a little wet
6.    Spray a plastic bag with cooking spray, place the dough in the bag and refrigerate overnight
7.    Preheat oven to 400
8.    Form into whatever shapes dough you like, I get two smaller loaves out of this recipe
9.    Bake on an upside down cookie sheet that has been dusted with flour or cornmeal
10.                       Place in oven and pour in around ¼ of water and quickly shut the door. Bake for around 25 minutes

For this batch of bread, I used about a little over half of the flour mixture. I made a batch of Cheater Buns (took half of the dough, patted it down into a half sheet pan, baked and cut into 9 squares) 



Can you see how incredibly soft and light the bread is? 100% whole wheat baby!

I formed the second half of the dough into a long baguette roll.

I hope you give bread baking a try! 

I am going to have delicious panini for dinner tonight using my Homemade Vegan Blue Cheese

19 comments:

  1. I definitely will!!!

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  2. Awesome blog idea! :)

    Whitney

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  3. Even though I don't eat bread I appreciate that you have experience baking with gluten as it means your GF goods are likely to be up to higher standards.

    Chris would love a slice of this! Love the color.

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  4. I do love fresh baked bread, but I'm usually too lazy to wait for the rise.

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  5. I buy my yeast in bulk too! Your bread is beautiful, thanks for the recipe.

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  6. wow this looks easy enough to make in my dorm kitchen!

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  7. If I braided the dough before I baked it, I wonder if this recipe would pass for a challah bread?

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  8. The bread definitely would not pass for Challah tastewise... it is more like soft whole wheat sandwich bread.. if you made it with a nondairy milk and added some earth balance, it may taste richer

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  9. We make our own bread too...in fact, we actually grow our own wheat and make bread from that. This recipe looks really great!

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  10. Charissa, that is AWESOME!! How incredible that you grown your own wheat.

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  11. I've grown too lazy to make my own bread. there, I've said it.
    the one you baked looks absolutely mouthwatering!

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  12. I am very intimidated by baking my own bread - the few times I've tried I've failed. I'm going to try your recipe, you've inspired me!

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  13. I'm confused (sorry, that happens a lot). What are we supposed to do with the water? Where does it get poured?

    I've never made bread before. Traditionally, working with yeast has freaked me out - LOL

    TIA!

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  14. Newbie here has a question. I've re-read the instructions a few times and I'm a bit confused by instructions 4 & 5. I understand that you mix the second batch of flour - separately? Then use that to just keep the original dough from sticking? OR do you mix it in and then THAT keeps the dough from being sticky? I apologize for my ignorance I'm new to this whole bread thing... normally I toss it into the breadmaker and run away, hoping for the best.

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  15. I am going to stir this up tonight for baking in the morning! Is there anything better than fresh baked bread? I don't think so! thank you so much for the recipe

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  16. Could you please clarify the instruction that says to pour 1/4 water? Do you mean 1/4 cup of water? And what does it get poured into? I'd love to try this recipe but I've never baked bread before and want to make sure I understand the instructions correctly. Thanks!

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