Tuesday, October 30, 2012

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Baking bread can be very intimidating if it is something you did not grow up doing and I am one of those people.  I have always been someone who could care less about bread, it just never excited me (unless it was kaiser rolls with tons of butter on them).  This was probably because I grew up in the world of white bread.  Now there is nothing wrong with white bread (or at least before they started adding all sorts of not healthy for you stuff to it) but its just boring!

I started working on baking bread a few years ago and the toughest part was the kneading and not having bread dough stuck to everything (especially the little hairs on my arms).  Some of my endeavors have been kind of successful, others have been major fails but that is a part of baking.

I had printed this recipe up earlier this year and put it in our binder o recipes.  Looking for something to keep myself occupied yesterday I stumbled across it and the next thing you know it was well on its way.  I sincerely feel the flour you use makes a serious difference when you bake and for this recipe I used King Arthur brand whole wheat flour.  If you are thinking of baking bread give this one a try!

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • *Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.


1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual.") Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
Yield: 1 loaf.

I did not have any dry or dried milk and the recipe still turned out great.  I store my flour in the refrigerator so that cuts down on the amount of flour used in my bread (this is kind of an experimentation thing).  Michael said that this is the tastiest bread I have made yet!

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