Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Basic Whole Wheat Bread -Guest Post

I was so excited when Michelle from Simplify, Live, Love invited me to share my bread technique on her blog! Today she is featuring the blow post and did I mention that I'm so excited! I'd like to invite you to check it out along with some of Michelle's other fantastic posts like The Top 10 Ways I Keep My Grocery Budget Low or her out of this world 9 Grain Bread post! We'd love to hear your comments.

Today, I'll be sharing a basic whole wheat bread recipe using the Whisper Mill (known now as the Wonder Mill) and Electrolux DLX. Like Michelle, I grind my own wheat and have for almost 10 years. Now, the health benefits alone are worth the effort. However, not only is it healthy, but grain can be stored indefinitely, it saves us loads of money, it teaches our children to appreciate and understand how food and the body work together, and best of all there's no need for an air freshener when bread is baking!

My ten year old Whisper Mill and 5 year old DLX are my favorite kitchen companions next to my kids!

12-14 cups fresh milled whole wheat flour
5 cups warm water
1 1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup honey
2 TBSP dough enhancer
5 tsp salt
2 1/2 TBSP yeast

***NOTE***I use a 50/50 mixture of hard (bread wheat: higher gluten and protein) and soft (pastry wheat: lower gluten and protein) wheat which results in an all-purpose like flour.

My mill will grind about 7 cups of grain in under 2 minutes. The wonderful thing about fresh milled flour, is none of the "good stuff" gets sifted away! There are 3 parts to a grain of wheat: the bran or fiber, the germ or seed embryo, and the endosperm or starch (AKA...white flour). The bran is the protective coat of the grain which is generally sifted away and used in animal feed. The germ, which is also sifted away, is what would become the sprout and is a very rich source of vital nutrients! Once the grain is broken, the germ begins to oxidize and will eventually spoil; this is why the healthiest parts are sifted away. Within the first day it will lose about 45% of its nutritional value and 90% after about 3 days. Finally, there's the endosperm which serves as food in the form of starch for the germinating plant. Keep in mind that it lacks any significant nutritional value, but is the most common part of the grain that's used in the average American diet.

Let's move on to making bread! You'll start by adding all of your wet ingredients, 4 cups of flour, and the remaining dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on med-high speed and continue to add flour.

When the dough has pulled away from the side of the bowl and I can touch the dough without much sticking to my fingers, I know I have added enough flour. Keep in mind; the amount of flour will vary depending on weather, temperature, and altitude. From this point I mix for approximately 7 more minutes. One very helpful hint I recently found out about the DLX, is to take the scraper out of the mixing bowl and the dough hook will require less assistance.

After my dough has finished mixing, I transfer it to a larger container for the first rise. Let it rest in the oven with only the light on for approximately 45 minutes or until double. Once it is double I begin preheating my oven to 350* and shaping my dough for it's second rise.

I could make 4 12in.x4in. loaves of bread with this batch of dough but normally I do not. Instead, I make a pan of dinner rolls, a pizza crust, a pan of cinnamon rolls, a loaf of bread and a couple of flat breads.
The rolls, pizza, and flat bread are baked for 15 minutes, cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes and the bread loaf takes 30 minutes.

As you can see, we get several meals out of a basic dough recipe and what you can do with it has endless possibilities. Some more ideas are pretzels, pigs in a blanket, and cinnamon raisin bread. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Thank you, Michelle for hosting my first guest post!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your first guest post! It's great! I just showed my Mom. She is very impressed. :o)