September 30, 2009

The Perfect Whole Wheat Loaf

I have been trying to perfect my whole wheat loaf for a while now, and I think I have finally discovered the recipe AND the techniques to make this loaf more enjoyable to eat than ever! Pulling these fluffy light 100% whole wheat loaves out of my oven couldn't have been more exciting... as exciting as homemade bread-baking gets!
This recipe makes 2 loaves (1.5lbs ea)

2 cups warm water
1 TB Traditional Yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar (I haven't had honey in my kitchen lately, but you can definitely use 1/3 C honey instead)
1/3 cup Canola Oil (Or Olive Oil, again I don't have this in my kitchen right now)
2 t. salt
1/4 cup gluten
5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour
Now the major difference with the ingredient list that I am newly accustomed to, is adding gluten to my bread. I have shyed away from it during my years of bread baking, mostly because of the added cost, but when I worked it out, it should only add about $0.30 to each loaf, AND once experiencing the results, completely worth it!
As well, the techniques with this recipe are a little different than what I have done in the past, and I am certain they have also added to the success. I have always skimped on my first knead, but this time I have set my timer for a full 8 minutes and let my Kitchen Aid knead away. The dough is so elastic and amazing; I am partially tempted to try this technique alone and forget the gluten.
So as usual, combine ingredients after allowing the yeast to proof in the water and sugar.
Add flour and knead for 8 minutes in your machine, or perhaps 15 minutes by hand. Set the timer.
Rise in a warm spot, covered until doubled (about 1 hour)
Knead out air bubbles (about 30 seconds to 1 minute in the machine)
Divide and shape into 2 loaves and allow to rise in greased or oiled pans for an hour
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
Turn out and allow to cool


Amanda said...

Look at your persistence and you are rewarded with such beautiful fluffy loaves.

I'll have to try this. have you ever tried rye flour? xo

Melissa-Ann said...

YOur picture makes me HUNGRY!!

Anonymous said...

Did you use a fine or coarse flour in the bread pictured? It looks good.

Rob and Karina Barber said...

I just used a fine grind whole wheat. But I have also used coarser flours and it works also. I have stopped using gluten altogether now however, and just use a Tablespoon of vinegar instead and knead the dough nice and long--About 8 minutes in my KitchenAid. I find the bread turns out just as nice.