Wholesome Whole Wheat

I was in the house the entire weekend because it was just too cold and yucky to go out if you didn’t have to.  On weekends like that, I challenge myself to use what’s available to make meals or try cooking something new.  I really wanted to try the Frugal Girl’s monkey bread recipe that she posted last week, but I didn’t have any pecans.  But I did have a whole lot of whole wheat flour that I found on sale and stocked up on and found an all whole wheat flour whole wheat bread recipe at the Hamilton Beach web site

Whole Wheat Bread

Most recipes, even though they say “whole wheat,” call for a mix of whole wheat and bread flour or white flour, which to me defeats the purpose of calling it “whole wheat.”

I made a few tweaks to the recipe to adjust to my situation:

  • The instructions are based on using the recipe with a stand mixer, but I ended up using the bread machine on the dough setting. 
  • I had to grab an egg out of the refrigerator, so I used the microwave to bring it to room temperature and I beat it a little instead of just breaking it into the bread machine mixing bowl like I usually do.
  • The recipe called for 5 tablespoons of honey.  I only had about three, so I substituted with dark brown sugar and a little oil.
  • Where the recipe called for 3 to 31/2 cups whole wheat flour, I started with the three cups.  I sifted the flour twice with the idea that it would help lighten the dough up.
  • I used the fast acting yeast, because that’s all I had.
  • While the dough was kneading in the bread machine, I ended up adding about a teaspoon more water because the dough seemed too dry, then I ended up adding a teaspoon of flour because it looked too wet.
  • When I took the dough out of the bread machine, I turned it onto a lightly oiled countertop instead of a lightly floured countertop.

I knew I was on the right track when the bread rose just past the top of the bread machine mixing bowl.  I dumped the dough onto the counter that was lightly greased and formed a log and put it in a clear oblong glass Pyrex pan.  It looked too crowded in the pan, so I broke off about 25 percent of the dough and made two mini loaves and put them on a greased cookie sheet.  I turned the oven on for a couple of minutes, turned it off, turned the oven light on and put the pans in the oven to allow the bread to rise for an hour. 

Both the loaf and the mini loaves rose beautifully.  The mini loaves rose so well that they stuck to each other.  In my infinite wisdom I decided to give them a little room and move one of them.  Of course the one I moved deflated, so I turned one eye on on the stove to keep the area warm and let it rise while the regular sized loaf baked for about 40 minutes.  The mini loaves rose again and I baked them for about 15 minutes.

The biggest problem I had was getting the full sized loaf out of the Pyrex dish.  Maybe I’ll coat it with a little more oil next time.  And I think the loaf “mushroomed” because there was too much dough in the pan.

Both the full sized and the mini loaves came out light and fluffy and you could taste the honey in the bread.  The only thing I’d do differently is divide the dough in half and make either two full sized loaves or one full sized and a number of mini loaves.  The bread was delicious and nutritious .

Here’s the recipe: (full directions at the Hamilton Beach web site)

  • 1 pk active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 – 31/2 cup whole wheat flour

Try it.  If I can do it, you can too.

Happy Gardening Cooking

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6 Comments

  1. engineeredgarden said,

    January 12, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Cheryl – that is some yummy looking bread. My wife makes a homemade bread also, and we just can’t get enough of it! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I bet it’s good!

    EG

  2. gardengoodies said,

    January 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

    EG-I guess playing in the kitchen will have to do for the next couple of months instead of playing in the dirt…but the bread really was good.

  3. January 12, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I’ve been baking my own bread all winter, but Mr. H will only eat plain white. For myself, I’ve been making a tasty “State Fair Cracked Wheat Bread”, which calls for 3 cups all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I reverse that to make it healthier. I do like the crunch that’s added with 1/2 cup of cracked wheat. Yesterday I made hamburger buns from the recipe, and last night’s hamburger was…interesting! It was a bit odd to have a crunchy hamburger 🙂

    You might try making hamburger buns rather than mini loaves with your leftover dough. I make small ones which I like better for sandwiches than the sliced bread. The sandwiches are just neater to hold, and seem more moist.

    Granny

  4. gardengoodies said,

    January 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Granny-“was…interesting!” Sounds like a lot of my homemade bread.

    I’m still relatively new at this, but to make a hamburger bung how do you shape your dough? Do you roll it and cut it or pinch off pieces? Do you cook them on a cookie sheet?

  5. January 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Cheryl, I just pinch off pieces of dough that are about 2 to 2-1/2 ounces and make them into balls….I kind of stretch and fold the edges under until the ball is smooth. Then I place them on a greased pan (cookie sheet is fine, 9×9 or 9×13 works too) a couple of inches apart, cover and let rest for five minutes, then press the balls down with my hand to flatten to about half the size of a finished burger bun…cover and let rise until double. The resting period is important. The dough is too elastic to stay pushed down without it. I used an air bake cookie sheet yesterday, and the bottoms didn’t brown and they seemed a bit doughy, even though the insides and tops were done, so I suggest you not use air bake pans!

  6. gardengoodies said,

    January 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Granny-Thanks for the instructions. I’ll give it a try next time.


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