Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Though I like to make various recipes and often try new recipes, this recipe is the one I use most often. It is slightly adapted from the one my mom has used for years. I've made it often enough that I almost don't need to look at the recipe, though I usually don't trust myself to go entirely without checking the recipe.
I've debated on the best way to share this recipe. I know that not all of you have the same tools and ingredients that I use. I decided to share it just as I make it first, then share ways that you can adapt it to your situation. I'll also share more details on some of the ingredients that may be unfamiliar.
Whole Grain Bread recipe
5 ½ cup water (120 degrees)
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey
1 T salt
2 T soy lecithin
1000 mg Vitamin C (¼ tsp)
½ cup vital gluten
3 heaping T dry instant yeast
10-15 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour
Combine water, oil, honey, salt, soy lecithin, vitamin C, gluten flour, and eggs. Mix well.
Add six cups of flour and mix. Add yeast. Add flour until dough doesn't stick to sides of bowl.
Knead for ten minutes with kneading hook on medium speed.
Form into loaves. Place in greased bread pans. Allow dough to rise until double.
Bake bread at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool.
Notes: I use a large Bosch mixer. If you have a smaller mixer, you will need to mix the first ingredients, then transfer to a bowl to add the flour and knead. Or you can make a half batch recipe.
My bread pans are 4 ½ by 8 ½ inches. This recipe makes six large loaves. I often divide one batch into seven loaves to have smaller slices that are easier to fit in the toaster.
I grind my own flour using Prairie Gold's hard white wheat immediately before baking. Wheat contains several dozen vitamins and minerals, most of which have oxidized within the first 24 hours after grinding. Wheat germ, which contains the vitamins, quickly becomes rancid if not refrigerated. Commercial whole wheat flour has the germ removed.
Because of these issues, I feel that it is worth my while to use freshly ground flour. If that option is not accessible to you, use the best flour you can find. The quality and protein levels of your flour really affect the quality of your bread. You may want to try this recipe first by using half white and half wheat flour, especially if your family is not accustomed to whole grains. I wrote more about flour here.