Have you been wanting to bake your own homemade bread but too intimidated by the amount of time and effort? Don’t be! Watch as I show you how to make my favorite whole wheat bread. It’s easy, tasty, and healthy–what more could you want?[divider]
Apart from using a bread machine, this recipe has to be one of the simplest, so you’ll have very little reason NOT to try it. My friend learned it from her mother and passed it on to me, so I’m calling it:
“Ely’s Oh-So-Good-For-You Bread”
Note: I use a standing mixer to cut down on the time I have to knead the dough. If you don’t have one, just knead the bread by hand for about 15 minutes total.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 350°F. Next, add the water to the bowl of your standing mixer. Make sure the water feels slightly warm on your skin. Add the honey (more for a sweeter loaf, less for a savory one) and mix it into the water. Then add the yeast and stir. Set it aside for about 10 minutes while you gather the other ingredients. The yeast should start to bubble and form a layer of foam over the surface of the water.
Once you can see a nice layer, add the remaining ingredients (oil through flour, plus any add-ins you’d like). Start the mixer off on a slow speed so everything stays neatly in the bowl. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium/medium-high so it kneads the dough fairly vigorously. The dough should not stick to the bowl. If it does, add more water a tablespoon at a time (a little goes a long way!). If it’s too wet and squishes against the side of the bowl, add flour by the tablespoon until it firms up. Let the machine do its work for about 10 minutes.
Now flour a clean surface with the same whole wheat flour and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. You could even get away with 3! Roll it into the shape of a loaf and place it in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise on top of the oven for 30 minutes. Once risen, put it directly in the oven to bake for approximately 30 minutes. You can use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done.
Let the loaf rest in the pan for another 5-10 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm with Earth Balance or pumpkin butter (or pretty much anything!).
I hope this makes homemade bread a regular addition to your table!