Today I'm going to share a recipe with you for Whole Wheat Bread. The best whole wheat bread EVER!
First of all: The Ingredients.
What? The white flour didn't make the photo. You'll still need it.
Freshly ground whole wheat flour. If you don't have a grinder, use a friends, if you don't have a friend with a grinder... Go ahead and use the stuff from the store, it tends to be very fine but will still work. (or get to know a Mormon neighbor, they often have one they will let you use and probably 100's of pounds of wheat they will share, too.)
Brown Sugar. Light or dark... whatever you have in the pantry.
Yeast. I use Red Star Active Dry. The recipe doesn't specify but I've always used active dry.
Warm Water. To dissolve the yeast in.
Sugar. What? You don't put sugar in everything you make?
Salt. Once I thought I could health it up by omitting the salt. Don't do it. Resist the temptation. Flavor was lost. If you need to make it healthier, use applesauce instead of shortening.
Milk. Whole, non fat, 2 %, canned, whatever you have in the fridge.
Shortening. Apple sauce can be used to omit fat. Sometimes I just don't want to deal with the hassle of shortening so I just unwrap a cube of butter. It sure is yummy that way.
Water. This is separate from the first bunch. So if you have to; get if from a different sink.
White Flour. Sorry it didn't make it into the family photo.... you'll still need it.
You should have 10 ingredients because you do not want to combine the water.
1. In a bowl larger than you think you need dissolve 2 Tbsp. yeast (the big T means the bigger spoon) in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir these together gently and add 2 Tbsp sugar (there's that big T again. Actually there are no little t's in this recipe so just leave it in the drawer.) Set aside and watch it grow.
2. Combine in a separate large mixing bowl 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. salt.
3. Heat 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup shortening in microwave to lukewarm.
4. Gradually add liquids and yeast mixture to dry ingredients (flour mixture).
5. Beat at low speed until moistened, then at medium speed for two minutes.
6. Stir in enough white flour to make soft dough. About 2 - 2 1/2 cups. Don't add it all at once. Add a cup, mix, add a cup, mix and you're going to have to just trust yourself about what a soft dough is. If you have a dough hook let it knead for 10 minutes.
7. Now is the fun part. Dump the dough onto a lightly (or not so lightly) floured surface and knead away. Kneading bread dough is not difficult but you'll want to avoid getting your fingers very involved. So, using the heal of your hand push the dough into the counter. Roll it back toward you and push again. Rolling and pushing, hitting and pounding. You really want to get those glutens working and work the yeast throughout the bread. It works well if you are angry or frustrated because you can really beat up on your dough and it's actually good for it.Work it baby. (I wonder how many calories you burn doing this?)
8. Place in a greased bowl and grease all sides of dough. (I just spray the bowl and the dough) Cover.
Whole Wheat Bread
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups water
2 - 2 1/2 cups white flour
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with 2 T. sugar. Combine whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and salt. Heat water, milk and shortening to lukewarm. Gradually add liquids and yeast mixture.
Beat at low speed until moistened, then at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in enough white flour to make soft dough. Knead 10 minutes. Put into greased bowl and grease all sides of dough. Cover and let rise until doubles (about 30 - 60 minutes). Divide in two pieces and form into loaves. Put in greased loaf pans and let rise double (about 40 mins) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.