Whole Wheat Bread

Aside from the lengthy recipe description, this bread is very easy.  It doesn’t take long to make, is healthy (relative to most other breads out there) and contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, and so on.

That is, if you dare eat bread.

Bread is getting a bad reputation these days.  They contain glutens (gasp!), have lots of refined carbs, sugars, fats, and depending on what literature you read, it may seem like eating 1 slice of bread may in fact kill you.  The enemy of the diet…  It’s clearly not good for you.

Our food choices, like everything else in life, are our choices.  If you want to lose weight, and cut back on eating, control your diet and exercise.  Taking pills and going after fads will never get you the results you want, until you discipline yourself to not take shortcuts and do the work.  We know what foods are good for us, we know when we over eat, and we know when we should cut back.  Eating half a pizza and a quart of ice cream before bed will not help us lose weight.  We all know this, and yet a lot of people do it.  Cutting back on refined carbs, especially if you’re dieting, is smart.  No argument.  But being smart about what we do, eating in moderation, diligently following a plan is smarter.  Once a week or before a big workout, a slice of refined carbs may contain more health benefits than not.  It’ll give you the boost of energy you need to push through a workout, kicking your metabolism into high gear.  You may want the low fiber surge just because you’ll get the energy when your body needs it the most.  And my homemade wheat bread is great for that.     

Bread, especially homemade bread, is not bad for you.  It’s not a superfood, but you could do a lot worse.  If you want to eat bread and want to be smart about it, this recipe may be your ticket.  Put the work into it, make it your own, and enjoy it in moderation.  You may find you like the process of making the bread more than the bread itself!

Whole Wheat Bread

Prep time: 1 minutes
Inactive cook time:  approx 2 hour
Cook time:  45 minutes
Yield:  2 moderately sized loaves

Ingredients:

1 package or 1 1/2 tbsp quick rising powdered yeast
1 cup warm water (not hot!)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup organic stone milled whole wheat flour
1 cup high gluten bread flour
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp granulated sugar

Method:

Put the water in a small warm bowl.  Mix in the sugar until fully absorbed.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until foam begins to form.  Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook attachment.  Run the machine, mixing the yeast into the sugar/water.  Turn machine off.  Pour the organic whole wheat flour in, and run the machine on low for about 30 second to incorporate.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.  We do this because the whole wheat flour will take longer to absorb liquid than bread flour.  This gives the flour an opportunity to fully absorb liquid before we introduce other ingredients.  After the 15 minutes, add the salt, oil and half the bread flour.  Run the machine at medium speed.  The dough should begin pulling from the sides of the bowl.  If it is too wet (and it probably will be) add more bread flour.  Keep adding until the bread dough forms and begins pulling from the sides.  At this point, run the machine at medium speed for about 5 minutes.  This fully develops the glutens, which is essential for good bread.  After 5 minutes, remove the bowl from the mixer and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.  Gently work dough down (folding, or punching) and form into 2 equal sized loaves.  Gently wet the top of each one and loosely cover with plastic wrap.  Heat your oven to 425.  When bread is proofed (loaves will be slightly larger, and when you gently press them with your finger, the dent remains and doesn’t pop back out), score the bread with a sharp pairing knife (1/4 inch deep) and transfer to the oven.  Bake until deep golden brown.

Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature.  You never want to serve right away; there is too much steam in the bread, slicing into it just after baking will release the steam, giving you slightly wet and poorly textured bread.  Letting it slowing temper to room temperature allows the bread to re-absorb the steam, and naturally release what it can’t absorb.

Reheat bread in a 300 degree over, or serve right away.

Enjoy.

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