Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

I have been making five loaves of this bread for my family every other month or so for the last 8 years.  It is simple and delicious.  It is not grain-free nor gluten-free, but it uses all organic, healthy ingredients and is made completely from scratch.  I even ground my own flour from hard wheat berries.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 5 loaves

Ingredients: hard wheat berries {or whole wheat flour}, water, honey, EVOO {extra virgin olive oil}, powdered vitamin C, sea salt, millet, and SAF yeast

First heat up on the stove to 110-120 degrees Farenheit:
• 6 cups water

Pour water into a Bosch mixer or use a Kitchenaid, but you will have to cut the recipe in half.

• 2/3-1 cup of honey {my dad prefers the bread a little sweeter, so I use 1 cup}
• 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil 
• 1/2 tsp powdered Vitamin C 
• 2 Tbsp sea salt

Mix together and then add:
 • 5-8 cups of freshly milled whole wheat flour

I grind my own wheat berries but you can also buy whole wheat flour. You need to use hard wheat berries or regular {not pastry} whole wheat flour. 

Mix for a couple of seconds and then add:
• 1 1/2 Tbsp SAF yeast

Mix slightly, then let sit for 10-25 minutes. 

Be careful, not to let it sit more then 25 minutes.

• 3/4-1 cup millet

Then start adding flour one cup at a time while the mixer is on and keep adding flour until the dough just begins to clean off the sides of your bowl and gather together, then begin the kneading time. You will be using about 18 cups of flour total. 

The total shouldn't be more than 18 cups, however. Too much flour makes the bread too crumbly and dry. I have even added garlic cloves, oregano, basil, onion and garlic powder before. Yum!

Knead {mix} in the mixer for about 5 to 7 minutes.Your dough should be slightly sticky, and the sides of the bowl shouldn't have much dough clinging to it. Then divide the dough into 5 parts and shape into a loaf and place into well-oiled bread pans. 

Place the bread in the oven {with a cup of water in a metal measuring cup or small pan in the bottom of the oven}. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, turn the oven OFF, and let the bread rise for 30 minutes. After 30-40 minutes or until the bread looks like it has raised just over the top of the pan turn the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 35 minutes. Take the bread out and immediately use a knife or spatula to pop them out of the pans and let them cool on a cooling rack.

At this point my dad comes down stairstairs and slices off most, if not all the end pieces to "taste test."

After all the end pieces are sliced off and the loafs have completely cooled I slice the loafs, place them in Ziploc bags, and store them in the freezer because they stay the freshest this way.

Enjoy and share with your friends and family!