BEST WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT BREAD RECIPE

A few years back I ventured into the (perceived) scary world of bread making and it was one of the best decisions in my home cooking repertoire!   I love making homemade bread. It is cheap to make, you can be confident in its ingredients,  and what you feed yourself and your family! Plus, you can use any leftover bread for other purposes: toasted bread crumbs or seasoned croutons. Yumm and saving money too! 

Note: Just to "keep it real" we do purchase store bread in our house - I do have FOUR kids after all! Otherwise, that would be a LOT of bread making.  I make homemade bread as often as I can but it is by no means all we eat. I wish that were the case!

Most of my bread recipes up to this point have used good quality UNBLEACHED all purpose flour.

Whole Grain Wheat Bread has never really been in my baking wheel house for no real reason other than lack of experimenting.  Until now...

Recently, I have been inspired to challenge myself, my hubby, and hopefully others, to the Beachbody 21 day fix fitness program. We eat mostly clean and healthy so the meal planning part of the program is actually fun for a foodie like me. However, on this challenge you can only eat WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT items. Hmmm, what to do with this?! I guess I need to venture out of my comfort zone! 

Always use a straight edge when measuring
dry ingredients to ensure correct measurements
I could just purchase wheat bread at the store but if I can make it myself and it's not that hard, why not, right? Besides, any savings I can give to our overall grocery budget is a plus in my book.  So, I went to the store, invested $5.00 in whole grain white wheat flour and a portion of that small investment baked a bread that my hubby and kids not only raved about, but asked to have their sandwiches on! SCORE for this mom on all fronts!  









This recipe is now my "go to" bread during my challenge and will be a staple bread recipe in our house.  I hope you make it for yours too, you will not be disappointed!    

From my HOME to yours,
Ange

WHOLE GRAIN WHOLE WHEAT BREAD RECIPE:

1 1/2 t. Active Dry Yeast
1 1/4 C. + 1/4 C. warm water (aprox. 110 degrees)
2 t. honey 
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 t. salt
4 C. Whole Grain Whole Wheat flour 
1 Egg - beaten/room temperature
Dry Active Yeast "Blooming" 

1) First, measure all ingredients. Measure and sift the flour and salt, set aside.  Next, place 1/4 C. warm water and honey in a mixing bowl or kitchen aid mixer, add yeast.  Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave alone for 5-10 minutes until frothy.  This is called "blooming the yeast."

Go switch the laundry, have a cup of tea, or whatever task you need to do and when you return the yeast will be "blooming."  See, so far so good with "complicated" bread making, you are already done with "step 1."

2) Once the yeast has bloomed, add the liquid ingredients and then dry ingredients.

IF USING KITCHEN AID MIXER: Knead with a dough hook until dough is stretchy and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (NOTE: the dough should still be shaggy at this stage - this is OK).  However, if the dough still completely sticks to the side of the bowl, add a little more flour (small increments) at a time until it pulls away.  

IF KNEADING BY HAND: Mix ingredients together with a spatula and then finish kneading by hand until all flour incorporated and stretchy - as described above.   

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning dough so all sides are lightly coated in the oil. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and set aside in the warmest part of your kitchen. You are done with step 2 and it only took 15 minutes!  See, not hard at all!   Now, go run errands at the store, finish chores, do whatever you feel for 1 HOUR!


3) Once dough has risen (double in size), dump out onto lightly floured surface.  At this point, you can either pull off small pieces at a time, as shown in the image or make 2 large loaves.  

To make rolls, simply pull off piece of dough -- however big you want -- and knead the dough a few times pushing with the palm of your hand. Turning a few times. Then, shape into ball and place on greased and floured baking pan approx. 2 inches apart.  

To make loaves, roll out (pizza style) into squares until aprox .5 inch thick.  Roll the dough tight and tuck ends under.  Place in greased and floured bread pan.

Congrats, you are done with step 3 and that only took 10-15 minutes!  Cover the dough with a dish towel and let rest for 45 minutes- 1 hour.  So now that you have another hour, what house projects do you want to tackle? Win, Win!

Next, heat oven to 375 degrees.
Whole Grain Whole Wheat Rolls

Remove dish cloth and place bread in oven for 10-20 minutes for rolls; 25-40 minutes for loaves - depending on size, until golden brown!  

Remove from oven and baking pans. Cool till room temperature (if it lasts that long) and...

ENJOY!  

KITCHEN NOTES:

*Before baking, brush with egg/water wash 1:1 - for shine; brush with cold water for hard crust; brush with milk for tender gold crust.

*Tap on top of Bread - it will sound hollow when done! 

*Make sure water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast - lukewarm is perfect!

*Once baked and completely cooled, you can place in a freezer bag and freeze for future use.  Just defrost at room temperature. 

Andrea MaranvilleComment