Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bread Recipe

My bread turned out fantastic and I now have a 'go to' recipe for whole wheat bread that I can make and I can be quite confident that it will turn out really nice. When it is toasted it has a very nice crisp texture on the surface - yum! So, here it is (this makes two loaves) -
1 tsp sugar
2 c warm water
1 envelope or 2-1/4 tsp of instant yeast
1/3 c molasses
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
5-3/4 c whole wheat flour (scant cups of flour)
1 heaping tbsp of wheat gluten flour (the kind of spoon you eat soup from).

I buy the wheat gluten flour from the bulk food store. It is a high protein flour extracted from wheat flour and improves the texture of whole wheat bread - all natural, no chemicals.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the warm water and add the butter and molasses. Stir it up and pour it into a large bowl. Stir the yeast into the liquid and then stir in 2 cups of flour. I mix it with a spoon until it is smooth. Gradually add the remaining flour to make a soft dough which leaves the side of the bowl - by this time I am using my hands to mix it up. Turn it out onto a floured board and form it into a ball. At this point the dough should be slightly sticky but not 'really stick to your hands like glue' sticky. If it is, add a small amount of flour to the board and knead it into the dough. I think one of the tricks is make sure you do not add too much flour - judging this at first can be difficult. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic - you will feel it change. I don't think that dough can be over-kneaded so that will not be a concern. Shape it into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover it with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let rise until doubled - about 1 hr.

After it has risen, punch the dough down. That does not mean literally punch it but to take it out of the bowl and fold it into thirds onto itself and pressing the air out. Cut it in half and shape into 2 balls. Cover with a towel and let them rest for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes shape the balls into loaves and place seam side down in oiled loaf pans (8-1/2"). Cover with a tea towel and let them rise about 1 hour. The dough should have risen about 1-1/2" above the center of the pans. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 10 minutes and then continue at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes more - mine takes about 25 mins. Tent it with tin foil if the tops are getting too dark. Remove immediately from the pans and brush with melted butter. When you tap the bread it should sound hollow. Cool on wire racks.

This was a long post and hopefully it is easy to understand. If you make this bread I would love to hear how it turned out. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!


Diana and LaDonna said...

That bread looks delicious! I've saved your recipe!


Cheryl said...

Hi Ellen

Yum! Yum! It does look good oh and so does your little purple blanket! Love sis