Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fresh whole wheat bread

I love baking bread.... and it only took me 10 years to be good at it! hehe! There is nothing like a fresh warm loaf of bread with dinner. (or breakfast, or lunch,  or dessert)

First, let me introduce you to my Kitchenaid:
isn't she pretty!
...she will be doing all the manual labor, I hate kneading by hand.

I use to just make white bread util we invested in a motorized flour mill (with hand crank attachment for those post apocalyptic times) and started buying wheat berries. The bread is far superior in flavor, and much more nutritious. Big plus- the kids love it!

on to the recipe...

Country Wheat Bread

2 Tbsp (2 packages) yeast
2 C. warm water
1/2 C. sugar
1 Tbsp salt 
2 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
6 - 6 1/2 C. fresh milled flour

In a stand mixer combine yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let sit a few minutes to proof the yeast. (ie: get bubbly)  Add the salt, eggs, and oil, and mix to combine. With mixer on low, slowly start adding flour until the dough cleans the side of the bowl but remains slightly tacky. Be careful not to make your dough to dry or your mixer may strain trying to mix it.
This is where the mixer really does the work. Keep it at a low speed (on the Kitchenaid, no higher than speed 2) and allow it to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. 
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let rise,in a warm spot, until double. A good method is to turn your oven on to it's lowest teperature, around 170°. When the oven comes to temperature, turn it off and put the bowl with the dough in the oven with another bowl full of hot water. Keep the door closed until your rise is done. 
Divide your dough into 2 or 3 greased loaf pans. (depending on how big you like your loaves, the original recipe is meant for 2 but they get huge) Again allow to rise until double or loaves are the size you want. I see many recipes that say "rise 1 hour" but this time can vary a lot by the temperature of the room. So don't worry about the time, let them rise as long as they need, could be more, could be less.
Preheat your oven to 350°. Bake your loaves for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pans to cool so the loaves don't become soggy.

The best part of fresh bread is getting to have a warm piece with butter! It goes great with any dinner and makes some really good sandwiches!

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