Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Bread I Knew in the Pre-Existence

I have long looked for a whole wheat bread recipe that is delicious, healthy, but mostly SOFT. We eat a lot of bread around here and it is getting really pricey. I've also wanted one that can be made entirely from food storage. So that, in a pinch, I can always make bread. Well, this is THE ONE. I think this bread tastes just like the honey whole wheat bread you can buy at Old Gristmill where it costs around $3.50 a loaf. If I was grinding my own wheat for this recipe (the wheat-grinder investment is one I haven't made yet), this would probably cost around a dollar a loaf, and my Kitchen-Aid does most of the work. I just have to make sure that I'm home for at least half the day on bread day. The picture is just one I grabbed from the Internet; this bread is actually slightly darker (especially with honey) and denser:

3 cups warm water (if you use your mixer, remember that your metal bowl will be VERY cold, so the water should be quite warm.)
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup honey OR sugar (I've used both as well as a combo. The honey flavor is incredible, but it is more expensive that way.)

Once you are sure your yeast is working (5 minutes or so) add 5 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix well and let it rise for about 30 minutes. This is called a sponge.

3 Tablespoons oil or melted butter
1/3 cup honey OR sugar
1 tsp salt
4-5 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (also called wheat gluten flour or a dough conditioner. DON'T skip this ingredient. It will change your life when cooking with whole wheat. It also adds a bunch of protein in your bread.)

Gradually Add:
2-3 cups more flour (white or wheat) until the dough firms up.

Knead until smooth and firm (I let my KitchenAid do this too. Two words: dough hook). Let rise until double. Punch, divide (two huge or three mediumish), form and let rise until double (another 30 minutes) Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes for medium, 30 minutes for huge.

If anybody is interested in the spicy cilantro chimichurri I made for the steaks last weekend, let me know. (If you haven't discovered this new favorite condiment yet, let's just call it the discerning person's answer to steak sauce.) This weekend I am going to put it on hamburgers with a big slab of roasted red pepper, a whole wheat bun, mixed greens from our garden and imported white Australian cheddar. I think I'll do sweet potato fries on the side. I keep telling Plantboy that he is a food snob, but lately I've started to think that it might be me.


Doreen said...

Sounds yummy! I'm going to have to try it once we're done moving and I get my Bosch fixed (yeah, NOT making bread the old fashioned way, hehe).

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I want to come to dinner this weekend. Why, oh WHY do we live in different states??

I'll definitely have to try this bread recipe. The storage bread recipe I have is decent, but I've long been on the lookout for a better one. Perhaps I've finally found it.

Yankee Girl said...

The bread recipe I am putting in my folder and I'm trying the cilantro chimichurri (this is the cilantro pesto you left on my blog right?) next week. In fact I'm thinking of doing it with the hamburgers you just posted. I wonder if I can get white Australian cheddar anywhere around here.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Yankeegirl, yes. If you put it on pasta I think it is technically pesto, if you put it on meat then it is chimichurri. Chimichurri recipes don't technically contain nuts, but pine nuts with beef are a match made in Heaven. The white cheddar is really dry (slices better than it grates) and sharp. Probably any white cheddar would work. I put the pesto version on whole wheat pasta the other night with blanched Swiss chard from Plantboy's garden. Yeah. It was great.

EmAndTrev said...

Me, me! That'd be a resounding YES if anyone is interested in that cilantro chimichurri. Wow, that looks great. And the bread. I think I'm hungry anyway, but that sounds so delicious right now. Thanks!!

EmAndTrev said...

By the way, I love all the pictures too! I'd say "new" pictures, but I've been out of the blogging loop, for the most part, for about two weeks, so maybe I'm way behind the curve. :)

Christie said...

I'm going to try the bread recipe. It sounds yummy! Oh, and we like hard white wheat. It has a lighter flavor than red wheat and a little more protein. The kids also tolerate it better than red wheat. And . . . now the dry pack canneries carry it! Bonus!

kanaboke said...

Me too, me tooo!! as far as the chimichuri recipe goes..and if you do make sweet potatoe fries will you please tell me how you like it? I've been wanting to make it, but can't really imagine it as did look good on FoodNetwork TV though. BTW,

yes, I've finally started one..slow going, but going....

Ashlee said...

Ooooo! I'm going to try this one!