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Monday, August 1, 2011

Everyday Whole Wheat Bread


Warning:  this recipe yields four substantial loaves of bread...I recommend at least halving it, unless you are feeding ravenous farm workers and growing kids.  This is not your typical whole wheat bread.  It is 100% whole wheat, as opposed to most "whole wheat" recipes which include white flour to make the recipe lighter.  As a result, it is quite dense and very nutty...but super delicious.  I love using it instead of that flimsy white bread for cucumber sandwiches...or fresh from the oven slathered with butter.

3 pkg yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water
4 1/2 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 cup vinegar (any will do, but I think apple cider vinegar has the best flavor for this)
~14 cups whole wheat flour

Mix liquid ingredients and add flour a cup at a time until it reaches a consistency to beat in mixer with dough hooks.  Beat with dough hooks on low setting for 4 minutes.  Turn out on floured board and knead 10 minutes or so, adding flour if necessary.  Dough should be smooth and elastic.  Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 3 hours (this helps develop the yeasty, nutty flavor of the bread).  After 3 hours, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Divide into 4 loaves and place in greased pans.  Let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour)  Bake 1 hour 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

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