Thursday, April 12, 2012

Perfect Whole Wheat Bread

What makes whole wheat bread "perfect"? Fluffy, moist, light, soft, delicious bread that you would prefer over a piece of cake during your late-night-after-the-kids-have-gone-to-bed-sugar-binge. Yes, this is the one. You will absolutely LOVE it.
courtesy google images

**A Few Notes before you begin: I grind my own whole wheat flour- I cannot guarantee a similar result of perfection with store-bought whole wheat. If you have a Bosch, you can buy a wheat grinding attachment (I have it and love it). I grind 20 cups at a time and store what I don't use in a ziploc in the refrigerator. If left out at room temp., it will go rancid in less than a week. Vital wheat gluten is found in the baking section of your grocery store- I also refrigerate this after opening. And, of course, I keep my yeast (Red Star brand from Costco) in the freezer at all times.

Perfect Whole Wheat Bread
Amy Foulger

*Makes 2 large loaves, or 3 small
3 cups warm water
3/4 Tbs. salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. powdered milk
1 1/2 Tbs. yeast
1 Tbs. vital wheat gluten
1/2 c. slow-cooking oatmeal
4-6 c. whole wheat flour
(see recipe for below for eggwash and oatmeal- optional)

Mix all ingredients in your Bosch until blended. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then, mix it again for 5 minutes. If needed, add flour for desired consistency. Dough should be slightly sticky. Place dough in a greased, oven-safe bowl and rise in 185 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Punch down your dough, pinch off 3 loaves (or two large loaves, depending on your loaf pan size). Shape dough into greased loaf pans**(see below) and put back in 185 degree oven to raise for 20 more minutes (don't go over this time around as loaves will raise fast as they bake). Remove from oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

**For a straight-from-the-bakery look, you can apply an eggwash (2 Tbs. water+ 1 egg) and oatmeal on top of your loaves right before raising the second time (while in loaf pans). Mix the egg and water, spread on loaves with a pastry brush, and then sprinkle oatmeal on top. Raise in oven.


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