Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whole wheat bread

Such excitement! I made whole wheat bread that actually tastes delicious! And it was so simple!

I had a phase several years back when I made lots of homemade bread. My breadmaker kneaded itself right off the table (we lived in a small, crooked apartment in an old house, and it wiggled right over), so I made bread by hand. The loaves always turned out like dense little discs. They tasted good, but they weren't great for sandwiches or toasting.

Over the weekend, I bought a huge bag of Bob's Red Mill Organic Stone Gound Whole Wheat Flour because it was on super-sale, and I figured I'd try the breadmaking again. I used a recipe from Laurel's Kitchen, Dan's favorite vegetarian cookbook. It has a very basic bread recipe, and I followed it but ended up having to use more flour than it called for. I also didn't have bread loaf pans, so I made round loaves on a cookie sheet.

Whole wheat bread (makes 2 loaves)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I used the generic brand, NOT rapid rise, and 1 tablespoon is almost 2 packets)

2.5 cups of warm water

1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used sucanat)

1 tablespoon salt

6 cups of whole wheat flour (I used more like 7-7.5)

1.) Put warm water in a large mixing bowl and add sugar. Add yeast and let sit for a few minutes, until it begins bubbling.

2.) Add about 3 cups of flour, and stir until smooth and elastic. (I used a wooden spoon.)

3.) Stir in salt.

4.) Add the rest of the flour, cup by cup, and knead by hand until the dough is no longer super sticky. When it gets hard to stir, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead, turning and folding it over and over.

5.) Return it to the bowl, cover snugly (I used plastic wrap and a rubberband to secure it), and allow it to double in size. This took about 45 minutes.

6.) Punch the dough down, and divide it in half. Put each half in a greased loaf pan, or in rounded mounds on a greased cookie sheet, depending on how you're going to bake them. Cover again snugly (I just used dish towels around the cookie sheet), and let rise until double again.

7.) If making round loaves, brush egg on the top of loaves.

8.) Bake bread in a preheated 375-degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool before slicing.

1 comment:

jelymo said...

i know this is silly, but i'm afraid of using yeast to make bread. we'll have to have a bread making party sometime so i can overcome that fear.