Mom made homemade bread a lot...all different varieties of yeast breads & rolls, stollens, biscuits, sourdough, English muffins, bagels, etc. In fact, she used to buy flour & shortening in huge drum bins, & whole wheat in bulk bags. We had an electric wheat grinder that she used to grind the wheat kernels fresh for each batch. Spoiled? Yes, please! Being around the smell of fresh baked bread, kneading & baking right along side of her, gave me a passion for bread baking as well.
So with that much baking, experience was in abundance, & I was always right there to gobble it all up (both the bread & the wisdom!) as it was dished out. One of her tips for making wheat bread, was to replace part of it with a little white flour, & to use a few pinches of vital gluten to lighten the texture up a bit.
Here’s a recipe I’ve created through trial & error, for a wonderful texture & flavor, I do hope you enjoy!
Recipe by: Designs by Jeanne R
1 – 1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yeast
1 – 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
Wheat or grain breads are something that benefits from a higher water to flour ratio. While I love the feel of kneading bread, I would say that grain breads are better with less flour added. For this reason, I would say that if you have a Kitchen Aid or Bread Maker, the mixing would actually be better using these modern conveniences. You can most certainly knead by hand, but you’ll have to add more flour to keep it from sticking. In this instance, I was happy to use my bread maker for the mixing & 1st raising cycle (if you’re using a bread maker, add the ingredients in the order I’ve listed them). After this 1st cycle, I divided my dough into two equal parts, formed them into thick ropes, then I did a simple twist, tucking the ends under. At this point, I placed it in a large buttered baking pan, covered with a cloth, then allowed it to raise for 1 -1/2 to 2 hours, or until at least doubled. No rocket science here…wheat bread takes longer to raise, so allow it that time.
At this point, place it in a 375 degree F oven for about 35-40 minutes or until done. (It sounds hollow when thumped, or use an instant read thermometer, which should temp at 190).
This is such a wonderful texture, we love this as a sandwich bread. With peanut butter? Omg, How amazing this is!