Delicious, homemade whole wheat bread is one of the most warm, wholesome foods I can imagine. I make this bread once a week, if I can swing it, because it is totally delicious and nourishing. This recipe makes 2 loaves, which covers our family of four for about a week. This recipe is a project for a day around the house. There is not a whole lot to do, but there are several risings so the total time spans about 4-4 1/2 hours. There is something particularly satisfying to my soul about making fresh bread–the combination of kneading with my hands, punching and shaping the dough and filling the house with the smell of fresh baked bread is very rewarding.
This recipe comes from my all-time hippie favorite, The Tassajara Bread Book. Basically, you make a thick paste:
which you beat vigorously with a wooden spoon 100 times. The idea is to introduce some air into the mixture, so you can be animated about it. Then you let it rise. Add the remaining ingredients to form a dough:
Let it rise, punch it down, let it rise, form into loaves and let it rise:
Bake for about an hour in a 350 oven. Let the loaves cool 10 minutes or so before you start tearing into them. Or not.
|Whole Wheat Bread|
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 TBLS dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup dry milk (optional)
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups bread flour (AP will be OK if you don’t have bread flour)
- Cooking Directions
- Dissolve the yeast in the water.
- Stir in the sweetener, dry milk and 4 cups flour to form a thick batter.
- Beat well with a spoon (be vigorous) 100 times.
- Let rest 45 minutes.
- Fold in the salt, oil, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the bread flour until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl.
- Knead on a floured board, using the remaining 1 cup of bread flour to keep it from sticking. You may need slightly more or less flour. Knead 10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic. This is your upper body workout for the day.
- Return to the bowl, cover and let rise 60 minutes, until doubled in size.
- Punch down.
- Let rise 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
- Shape into loaves and places into buttered loaf pans.
- Let rise 20-25 minutes.
- Make some cuts in the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Be creative.
- Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour, or until golden brown.
- Remove from pans and let cool. Or not.