Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making Whole Wheat Bread

This post is dedicated to my sister Genevieve.  She's in NY.  Hi Bin!

If you are going to live off food storage you have to be able to make your own bread.  I think of bread making as a life skill. Sort of like changing tire.  Everyone ought to know how.

I make two loaves at a time because that's all that will fit in my KitchenAid.  That means I make bread at least once a week.  It's been more lately since the hubby has taken to eating PBJ sandwiches for lunch.  (Or as my three year old says "smawiches").  

I grind my own wheat for this bread, but you could use store bought whole wheat flour.  

1.  Add 4 c. whole wheat flour, 1/3 c. vital wheat gluten, 1 1/2 T. instant yeast to your bowl.  Mix a bit.  

 2.  Then add 3 c. warm water.  It supposed to be about 110 degrees.  I think of this as a nice hot shower.  If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for the yeast.  (Just so you know I have never measured the temperature of my shower but now I am thinking about it . . . )  Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.  By the way, this is called the "sponge".  I don't know why.

3.  While the sponge is sponging, add 1/4 c. oil to a measuring cup.  Then add honey until it reaches 2/3 c.  I came up with this measurement when I decided 1/4 c. honey was to little an 1/2 c. was too much.  I have thought about trying to figure out exactly how much honey it is but I haven't.  Well, for you I will do the math.  [Thinking . . . thinking . . . using the calculator on my computer. . . ]  It's 6 T. + 2 t. honey.  Or 1/3 c. + 1 T. + 1 t.  See, it's much easier to do it in a glass measuring cup.  Then add 2 t. salt.  I took the picture after the salt, that's why the oil looks like it's almost to 3/4 c.

4.  After 10 minutes the sponge will be all spongy.  Add the measuring cup of honey, oil and salt.

5.  Turn on the oven to warm while you are doing this next part.  You will use the mixer with the dough hook on a speed of 1-2 for 6-7 minutes.  You are going to add approximately 2-3ish cups of whole wheat flour.  You want to add enough flour so that it doesn't stick to the sides and forms a ball of dough.  I find I have to add a little bit of flour every minute or so to keep it from sticking.

6.  Grease your pans with spray oil.  (Just so you know I tried to use a mister and the bread stuck.  Only the commercially canned stuff works.  Such a bummer.)  Then grease your hands with spray oil.  This will make the dough easier to handle.  Split the dough in half, form loaves and place in your pans.  I forgot to take a picture of the bread before the rising.

7.  Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven OFF.  Wait about 15 minutes until your dough is double in size and looks like this:

8.  Turn your oven up to 350 and bake for 35 minutes.  Use a pastry brush to spread butter on the top of the bread.  Seriously the best part.

It usually takes me just over an hour to make this bread.  And it's so good right out of the oven.  My 20 month old points at it as says "num num."


  1. I'm always on the hunt for a good bread recipe...especially one I can use for my kitchenaid. Thanks, KT.

  2. Chris, I've tried a number of recipes too, but I keep coming back to this one. I hope it works out for you. Let me know, I would love to hear.

  3. Thanks, Kate! Hope you don't mind, but I pinned it. You might get a little more traffic to this post...

  4. No problem, Hillary. I hope you enjoy the bread.

  5. Best bread in the world! But try letting it rise in an oven that hasn't been preheated. If the flour is room temperature, the bread will be lighter and rise higher.

  6. Cyndy, I'll try it. But I've done it before and haven't had a lot of luck. But it's worth giving it another shot. And, BTW, this bread is all thanks to you!!



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