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
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!