Bread: A Year in the Making

It’s not the most beautiful loaf, but it makes one hell of a sandwich!

It’s a two-for week!  I’ve been doing A LOT of baking lately and I thought you all might like my whole-grain bread recipe.  I have been working to make the perfect loaf for almost a full year now, and I think that I have finally mastered the best recipe for sandwich bread.  I have  tried a number of flour, yeast, and vital wheat gluten combinations in order to come up with the right size, flavor, and nutrition.  The following recipe is a combination of my own ideas, the Whole Wheat Bread recipe from The American Family Cookbook (1974), and the Classic Wheat Bread recipe from my Cuisinart recipe booklet.

Whole-Grain Sandwich Bread

– This recipe is done with an 11 cup food processor, but you could adapt it to do by hand.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees; I find that heating water in a 4-cup measure for 30 seconds in the microwave is perfect)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour (you can likely use any types of flour that you like and get that same result)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-6 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup full flavor molasses (add great flavor and a TON of potassium)
  • 1 cup cold water

Steps

  • In a 4-cup measure, dissolve the yeast and sugar.  Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes (it should be ready by the time you are ready to pour it into the flour mixture)
  • Insert your dough blade into your food processor, process the flour, salt, butter, and vital wheat gluten on dough speed until thoroughly combined
  • Add molasses and cold water to the yeast mixture, mix well
  • Pour liquid down the feed tube as fast as the flour will absorb it (you may have to smack the side of the food processor to help it along, or stop it and scrape the sides)
  • Add small amounts of water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) through the feed tube until the dough is really able to start forming a ball, be careful not to add too much liquid, as too moist a dough can lead to dimpling once it cools
  • Once the dough has formed a ball and is cleaning the sides of the food processor, let it work for another 30 seconds or so to give it a good knead
  • Grease a large bowl, place your ball of dough (which you may have had to squish back together after removing from the food processor) in the bowl then flip it over to bring the greased side to the top
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour or two (dough needs to at least double)
  • Punch down and shake onto a lightly floured surface
  • Roll out into an oblong shape (about the length of your bread pan)
  • Roll up like a jelly roll making sure to really get a tight roll to prevent large pockets of air from forming (this makes for giant holes in your bread)
  • Once rolled, turn the ends under and squish your loaf really well to get any air pockets out, then put into a greased and floured bread pan (I use a 10-inch pan)
  • Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour or two (you want the top of the loaf to be out of the pan at least an inch)
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes (the bread should sound hollow when tapped)
  • Turn bread onto a wire rack to cool
  • Rub some unsalted butter all over the top to give the bread a nice, soft crust

This is another recipe you can make adjustments to in order to suit your tastes.  It is incredibly nutritious and is FULL of flavor.  I hope my year of bread making proves to be useful to you!  Please ask questions if you need some help.

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2 thoughts on “Bread: A Year in the Making

  1. Pingback: Barm Cakes | James's Recipes

  2. Pingback: Whole Wheat Brushetta, with Parsley-Fennel-Tomato Salsa | Alison Amazed

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