Before the hot summer weather hit, I started making my own whole wheat bread. I thought it would be a great way to save a little money, and eat healthier...and it was! Actually, since I started making homemade bread nothing else even compares. I will even say that I like it better then Great Harvest...which is saying a lot!
I have tried a few whole wheat bread recipes and came across one that I really like, and unlike many breads that claim to be "whole wheat" this recipe actually uses 100% whole wheat flour and still comes out fluffy and moist!
I know that making homemade bread can be very intimidating. I will in no way claim that it isn't a little difficult. When I first started, I actually made about 3 batches of bread before I could perfect the recipe and not end up with something that resembled a whole wheat rock. I think all bread recipes can be a little tricky, because depending on your climate, and whether you knead the bread with a machine or by hand, the amount of flour added can really vary.
My mom taught me a few very helpful bread making tips, so if your a beginner listen closely...
1st. Add the flour in small amounts and stop adding when your dough ball still has a little stickiness left to it. If you add too much flour your dough wont rise very well and you will end up with a bread rock.
2nd. Don't overcook the bread
3rd. When dissolving the yeast don't be afraid to use very warm water, just make sure it's not hot!
To view the recipe and tutorial click below!
Whole Wheat Bread
1 Tbl yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups hot tap water
6-7 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tbl salt
(This recipe is adapted from one that I found on my cousin's blog, for the original go HERE)
Step 1. In a small shallow bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. It usually takes about 10 min.
You can sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over the top of the yeast to help it dissolve quicker...
Step 2. When the yeast is ready, take a large bowl (or kitchenAid mixing bowl) and add the hot tap water. Then add and mix in 3 cups of whole wheat flour, salt, oil, applesauce, sugar, and the yeast mixture.
Step 3. Mix in 2 more cups of whole wheat flour.
Step 4. Add the remaining 1-2 cups of flour slowly (I like to add 1/2 cup at a time). Be very careful to not over flour the dough. Remember the end product will begin to form into a ball and should still be slightly sticky. If you are using a kitchenAid make sure to use the bread mixer attachment and mix on low for 8-10 min. If you are working by hand, flour a large surface, pour the dough out of the bowl begin to knead it on the counter for 8-10min.
Step 5. Form the dough into a ball shape and place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray.
Step 6. Place a light dish towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Step 7. Spray a large area on your counter top with cooking spray. Dump the dough ball onto the counter and divide into sections for bread pans. Punch down and re-knead the dough sections into bread shapes and place into greased bread pans.
Step 8. Cover the bread pans again with the towel until they have doubled in size (should take around 45 min.)
Step 9. Bake the bread loafs at 350 degrees for 25-35 min. (my smaller pan takes about 25 and my larger takes about 30-35 min.) The tops of the loafs should be nice and golden brown. When the bread is finished cooking, I like to coat the tops with a little olive oil and a light sprinkle of kosher salt.
I wait a few min. before taking the bread out of the pan. Then I place them on a cooling rack until they are no longer warm on the outside.
Although...I usually can't help but cut myself and nice warm slice and then I top it with homemade strawberry jam.