There's something romantic about homemade fresh bread. It smells better, tastes better, and looks better than grocery store bread. It's made with basically six ingredients, all of which you can pronounce. And once you pull off a gorgeous first batch you are proclaimed 'awesome' (until the bread is demolished by testers).
Making bread at home has always been on my list of things to master, right up there with French macarons. This whole wheat bread is something I remember my Grandma (ultimate healthy hostess-80 yo physical therapist-Grandma) making. I shamelessly begged her to give me a tutorial and walk me through the recipe that has never before been written down.
Admittedly I tend to get overwhelmed with bread right at the stage when the dough is sticky, waiting patiently to be kneaded on your counter, and horribly tempting to add too much flour. There are times when dietitians tell their clients to 'trust the process' of weight loss and health gain. Just when things seem overwhelming but you push on...things turn out. Bread is the same way and I learned: keep kneading, stop adding flour, and buy a pastry cutter.
Whole Wheat Bread
makes 3 large loaves
- 1 T salt
- 2 T sugar
- 3 C hot water
- 2 T dry rapid acting yeast
- 1/4 C vegetable oil
- 3 C white flour (reserve 1 1/2 C)
- 3 C whole wheat flour (reserve 1 1/2 C)
Directions: In the bowl of your standing mixer, add all ingredients and 1 1/2 C of each kind of flour. Mix slowly using the dough hook until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough will be very liquid at this point.
Slowly add 1/4 C of each kind of flour at a time, alternating between white and whole wheat flour until the dough is thick enough to turn out onto a lightly floured table. To reach the right point, I ended up adding 3 C of additional flour during this phase.
Turn the bread out onto a lightly floured table. Knead the bread, turning the dough a quarter each time. Kneading is not a pushing down and outwards motion. Be gentle, pushing down only, using the pastry cutter to scrape under the ball. This will help cut down on the extra flour you are dying to add. Once the dough becomes smooth and elastic, place into a lightly greased bowl, cover with wax paper and let rise until doubled in size.
Once the first rise is complete, turn the dough back onto the table and press down to remove the air bubbles. Use the pastry cutter to divide the dough into three equal sections. Use the heel of your hand push the dough into an elongated oval shape and fold into thirds (hamburger style). Roll the dough (hot dog style) and place seam side down into greased loaf pans. Let rise again until doubled in size.
Place loaves into a 350 F convection oven or 375 F regular oven for roughly 30 mins. The bread will be ready when you tap the top and it sounds hollow.
What's your ultimate 'to make' item to master?
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.