15 December 2009

Easiest Whole Wheat Bread

who doesn't love a good piece of whole wheat toast with butter and jam on it in the morning?  or better yet, a fresh, warm piece of bread with honeybutter on it?  this recipe makes a great basic whole wheat bread.  i got it from some friends in new orleans while we lived there, so it always brings back good memories for me whenever i make it.  isn't that how bread should be? 

3½ cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup gluten flour
1¼ Tbsp instant yeast (quick rise)
2½ cups steaming hot tap water (120-130 deg. F) (very hot to the touch)
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey or 1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup molasses (measure out oil first, so the molasses doesn’t stick!)
1¼ Tbsp bottled lemon juice (or ½ a fresh lemon)
2½ cups whole wheat flour

Mix together first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, honey/sugar/molasses and lemon juice and beat for one minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 10-20 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.

Pre-heat oven to lukewarm for 1 minute and turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 15-25 minutes until dough reaches top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.

If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook and are kneading this by hand, gradually add last cup of flour to keep dough from sticking to counter. You will add more flour when kneading by hand than when using a mixer simply to be able to handle the moist dough. With wheat bread, always add the least amount of flour possible to keep bread moist. Knead 10 minutes; shape into loaves.

Note: Lemon juice in this recipe acts as a dough enhancer, which gives bread a fine, light texture.

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