healthy whole wheat bread, that doesn’t taste like cardboard

Over the past three and a half years I’ve been making homemade bread.  The first few months were spent doing it “old school”.  Hand kneading, punching it down, shaping ect.  Although I believe that that way is the best way, I needing a time-saving alternative so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy bread.

I’ve had my Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme for three years and I LOVE it.  Dump everything and don’t think about for 3.5 hours.  I love that it has a timer too.  I can put everything in and set it to be done by the time I wake up in the morning.

This has taken years of perfecting and tweaking.  It was a recipe copied from a book and given to me by a friend.  The copy doesn’t say what book it’s from…sorry :(  I have added so much to it that it’s pretty much mine anyways.  I hope you love it as much as we do.

* This is a 2.5 pound loaf recipe.  If you have a smaller bread machine, or if you’re doing it “old school”, double the recipe and it will give you 3 loaves.  I wouldn’t recommend subtracting because baking is a science, and you may not be happy with the results.

Here goes…

1.5 C water

1/4 C honey

3 T unsweetened apple sauce

1 t salt

2 T soy letchin

2 T whole flax seed

3 T unsalted sunflower seeds

4 T gluten flour

1.  Place all these ingredients in the bread machine.

Get out your 1 C measuring cup.  In it put:

2 T almond meal

2 T wheat germ

2 T oat bran

3.  Fill the rest of the measuring cup with whole wheat flour (I’ve been using white whole wheat, either King Arthur Flour or Trader Joe’s and they give consistantly good results when other brands have not).

Measuring exactly is very important in baking FYI.  Scrape off the excess with a straight object, and place in the pan on top of the other ingredients.  I like to put everything right in the middle of the pan.  You’ll need as high a mound as you can get for your yeast later.

4.  Add 3 C more white whole wheat flour.  Straight flour, nothing else.

5.  Add 2 t dry active yeast on top of the mound in the machine.  I make a little crater and place it in there so that it never gets wet until the machine starts kneading.  I like quick rise bread machine yeast because the bread doesn’t get funky if it’s too cold or too hot in the kitchen.

Great result each time.

6.  Set the machine for whole wheat and let ‘r rip.  (or turn on the timer for tomorrow)

7.  Eat delicious bread that’s cheaper and better for you than store bought bread.  :)

 

a need to knead

Last week I started the levains for some serious bread making.  Local Breads is such a great book.  I also realized there was an errata for some of the recipes.  Hopefully, I’ll be alright for the ones I didn’t catch in time. 

Baking my way through this book has made me realize a few things about bakers.  First, they go through plenty of plastic wrap and parchment paper.  Second, artisan bread makers are very patient and precise.  And lastly, they have found an excellent and cheap stress reliever. 

I have in the past avoided, at all costs, hand kneading bread.  Even when I have used this book in the past, I used my stand mixer and dough hook.  This time I’ve decided I’m making every recipe in this book by hand.  I really love it.  It is very calming, a nice arm workout, the kids are loving that they can help, and I really enjoy feeling the dough change.  Sticky, smooth, elastic changes.  Every loaf is made and shaped with care and love.  Patience and perfection.  I could eat nothing but these breads everyday.

 

 

Saltless Tuscan Bread