Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Andrew's Favorite Bread Recipe

Whole Wheat Bread

Grind about 5 cups of wheat and set aside. (Depending on grinder you may need more or less--experimentation is the key.) In mixer bowl, mix on low with a bread hook:
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider or white distilled)
  • 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour

In small bowl, combine & set aside:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 packet active dry yeast

When the dough in the mixer has formed some gluten, add:

  • 1/4 Tblsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or olive)
  • 1/4 cup honey (measure oil first, then the honey won't stick) This is where I stray from the recipe a touch. I like to put in more honey than suggested. I probably use a little more than 1/3 cup total.

Continue to run the mixer. When the yeast mixture has at least doubled in height, turn off the mixer and add:

  • the yeast mixture
  • 1 1/2 cups of additional whole wheat flour

Start the mixer slowly so everything doesn't end up on the ceiling, then add up to 1 1/2 cups more flour (sometimes you need to add more), all the time allowing the mixer to run on low. You are watching for the dough to clean the sides of the bowl. Once you are satisfied that this is happening, set the timer for 10 minutes and let it knead. When the ten minutes is up, turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes (this can be eliminated if you are in a hurry--but I don't recommend it). While you are waiting, prepare your pans by lightly coating with oil. Pour a small amount of vegetalbe oil on the counter to prevent sticking and dump the dough on the counter, then divide into two loaves. Allow bread to rise in the pans on the counter for 30 minutes, or until the dough is above the top of the pans (sometimes my loaves grow really well, sometimes they are slow going--don't worry--after 30 minutes, call it good). Preheat the oven to 350 and turn it down to 320 as soon as you put the bread in. Bake for 40 minutes.

About the order of ingredients and other things: Salt hampers the formation of gluten, so it is not added at the beginning. Vinegar is a natural dough enhancer.

I want you all to give the recipe a try. I have loved the bread! I eat it warm--nuked or toasted--with honey or jam.

Recipe submitted by Julie G

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