Sunday, May 31, 2009
Whole Wheat Bread
There is nothing better than fresh baked bread. I started experimenting with baking my own bread about 10 years ago. I didn't like paying so much for good bread and the cheap bread was worthless nutritionally. As I learned more about how good whole wheat was, I switched to whole wheat flour, but the wheat was often bitter and I found it difficult to find. That's when I discovered how much cheaper it was to grind my own wheat. I was able to obtain a Nutri-Mill several years ago and started buying my wheat berries in bulk from a family-run company called BreadBeckers. I learned that wheat tastes REALLY GOOD when it is fresh. Not to mention, MUCH better for you. The nutritional content is 40-80% higher with freshly ground wheat. The costs for having bread in the house plummeted as well and now I knew for sure what was going into the bread I was serving my family. Below is my recipe. I make this bread 5-6 times a week. I prefer to have the loaf freshly baked as opposed to baking several loaves all in one day and letting it sit. Its not hard to do anymore as I usually enlist my kitchen-aid in the kneading. The recipe is easy for me to remember since I make it so often. This makes a nice soft loaf that is excellent for toast in the morning and sandwiches at lunch. Having a good sized bread pan helps too. It also makes pretty good sandwich rolls or hoagie rolls for meatball sandwiches.
Whole Wheat Bread
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/3 cup Sucanet(evaporated cane juice) or Honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 T rice bran extract
1/2 cup freshly ground flax seed (optional)
1 large egg
1 T yeast
4 1/2 to 5 cups freshly ground wheat
Put the water, olive oil, sucanet(honey is acceptable) and salt in the mixer. Add the egg, rice bran extract(a lecithin substitute) and yeast in and turn on the mixer. Ground the flax seed in a small grinder and add that. Gradually add the flour. Once the dough is pulling away from the mixer sides, allow to knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is well kneaded. Turn off the mixer and place the dough in a well greased bowl and cover with a moist towel. Allow to rise until double(about an hour) in a warm draft-free place. When the dough is fully risen(it yields completely to a finger poke), dump it onto the counter, lightly punch down and fold in thirds and place in your greased bread pan. Allow to rise approximately 20 minutes, preheating oven to 350 degrees shortly before the second rising time is over. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the top. Enjoy!