Whole Wheat Bread

Here goes…

My first attempt at food blogging, Pioneer Woman-style.  I am going to show you how to make yummy nummy homemade whole wheat bread.  Mmmmm.

This recipe is for 4 loaves.  I missed a couple of photos but I’ll try to make it easy to follow.

These are the tools I use.  You can use whatever tools work for you.

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One of these makes a big difference too.

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If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, you can mix everything in a bowl and knead it by hand to get the same result.

To start, set up your mixer and pour 1 3/4 cups of HOT tap water into the bowl.  Add about 1/3 cup of honey and stir it so the honey dissolves.

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I don’t measure the honey and it always works out.

Next, sprinkle 4 teaspoons of active dry yeast over the water.

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The yeast will sink to the bottom.  There’s no need to stir.

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While the yeast is proofing, get another 1 3/4 cups of hot tap water.

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You’ll need about a 1/4 cup PLUS half a 1/4 cup of butter, or 6 tablespoons.  I use salted, but it doesn’t matter.  See photo if that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

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Dump the butter into the hot water.

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While the butter thinks about itself, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

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And 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

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Give it a stir if you’re impatient like me and want to get started, but the butter will melt if you give it enough time.  Stir the salt at the bottom before you pour it in the mixing bowl though.  I have to stir very carefully or it will overflow my little container.

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Pour the butter mixture into the bowl when the yeast has bubbled up over the whole surface, like this.

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Then it will look like this.  You don’t have to stir at this point either, but once in a while I do…but I don’t know why.

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While your butter is melting, go ahead and measure 5 cups of whole wheat flour into a bowl.

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Add all of it to your yeast/butter mixture.

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Turn on your mixer to the lowest setting until the flour is moistened.  You’ll want to stop the mixer once to scrape the sides down quick.

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Here’s where I forgot a couple of photos.  While your whole wheat flour is mixing in, measure 3 cups of white flour into the now-empty flour bowl.  Grab an extra half cup because you might need it.

[Picture of 3 1/2 cups flour in bowl]

Now add the white flour one cup at a time.

[Picture of flour being dumped into mixer]

Turn up the mixer to the kneading speed.  On mine it’s number 2.  Let it go for a couple minutes, adding flour as needed.  The dough should be a bit sticky to touch, but not sticking to the bowl.  Add the extra flour if you need to.  The sides of the bowl should be fairly clean.

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This part is tricky to explain.  Once your dough is ready, dump it out of the bowl onto the counter.  Don’t bother with more flour.  Cut it into quarters with a big, sharp knife, as equal in size as you can.  Knead each quarter to make the top smooth and roll it a bit on the counter to make a nice round ball.

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Cover them with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil and let them sit until they double in size.  It takes mine about half an hour.

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Take a break and wash the tools you used and wipe down the mixer.

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Now uncover your dough and knead each ball a bit to get the top smooth again and work out the bubbles.  (please disregard the nasty nail polish.  Steph got some purply glitter stuff for christmas and I put it on my thumb nail and I’ve been slowly picking it off since then)

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Now slap it down on the counter with the smoothest side down, and fold the bottom up to the middle and stick it down hard.

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Then fold the top down to the middle to make an oval-shaped roll.

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Fold one end in.

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Then the other end.  Don’t bring the ends in too far or it will be a round loaf instead of oblong.

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Now roll the top down again and keep rolling right over until the seam is underneath.

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You should end up with a loaf resembling this.

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Plop them in the greased pans as you finish each one.

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Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let sit until they double again.  Mine take about an hour.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to take any more pictures, but it’s pretty straight forward.  Once they look like they’re almost big enough for the oven, take off the plastic wrap and turn the oven on to 375 F.  When the oven’s hot, pop them in for 25 minutes.  Don’t forget to take them out when the timer goes off like I do sometimes.

When the bread comes out of the oven (by then, your house will smell divine), carefully turn the loaves out onto a clean dish towel and turn them right side up.  Brush the tops with butter.

When you can’t stand it anymore, cut a nice thick slice…don’t be stingy now…and pile on the butter.  Yum yum.

Now try really really really hard not to have another slice.

While they’re still a little bit warm, bag each loaf in a paper bag, then wrap it in a plastic bag, and freeze it.  It will taste just as fresh when it thaws.  It will also keep nice and soft for a week in your cupboard.

Here’s the recipe in case you want to print it out.  I did not plagiarize this recipe because it’s changed quite a bit since I started making it.  Now it’s all mine.

Utterly Divine Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups hot water

1/3 cup honey

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups hot water

6 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons lemon juice

5 cups whole wheat flour

3 – 3 1/2 cups flour

Method:

1. Pour 1 3/4 cups water into mixing bowl outfitted with dough hook.  Add honey and stir with spatula.  Add yeast and let sit until proofed.

2. Add 1 3/4 water to container.  Add butter, salt and lemon juice.  Let sit or stir lightly until butter is melted.

3. Pour butter mixture into mixing bowl.

4. Add whole wheat flour all at once to mixing bowl, mixing on low until combined, scraping sides once.

5. Turn mixer up to kneading speed (2 on a Kitchenaid). Add flour one cup at a time until dough is slightly sticky to touch but pulls away from the bowl.

6. Turn dough out onto counter.  Cut into quarters and roll each piece into a ball.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  About 30 minutes.

7. Punch down each piece and shape into loaf.  Place in greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  About 1 hour.

8. Remove cover and set oven to 375 F.  Place pans in hot oven for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from pans.  Brush tops with butter.  Let cool.  Makes 4 loaves.

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