Thursday, April 4, 2013

Making Homemade Wheat Bread

Making an old favorite, I have had this recipe for wheat bread for years.  I substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil and honey for the brown sugar.  Yea!  Healthy substitutions and we’re just getting started.   This time whole-wheat flour, next time I think I will try rye flour.  I've had a craving for rye bread.

Here is the recipe as I made it today:

2 cups warm water (@85-100 degrees F)
1 package fast acting yeast
2 tablespoons organic sugar
2 teaspoons salt (I use iodized)
4 cups unbleached bread flour (I did not sift)

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast on the warm water, wait, add the sugar, then the salt. Stirring after each, now start adding the white flour one cup at a time.  Keep the dough in a warm place in a large bowl, cover, (I use my pastry towel).  Let stand until light and bubbly, about an hour. It may take longer if the room is too cool. (Ideal is 82 degrees F)

Next combine:

½ cup hot water
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil 
Stir; cool to lukewarm, add to the yeast flour mixture, then add the whole wheat flour.
4 cups whole wheat flour

Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, grease top of dough, cover, and let rise in a warm location.  Let rise, about an hour, maybe more, depends on temperature.   When the dough has doubled in size, punch down then knead dough to get most of the air out.  Cut dough in half; turn out onto floured pastry towel.  I use corn meal instead of flour it adds a bit of another grain to the bread and makes for a nice crust.  Knead each half; form into two balls then let rest for 15 minutes or until dough starts rising again. 
Now use rolling pin to roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.   This gets all the air out of the dough. You will hear the air bubbles snapping.  Then roll up as if you are making cinnamon rolls.  Now roll out each end… (Looks like a beaver tail) fold them under and place loaves into greased bread pans.  Let rise for about 1 hour.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Whenever I make bread I try to plan a few things to bake while it is rising.  Then you are sure to have a nice warm kitchen and the bread rises fast and well.  So we are going to make chocolate chip cookies and some muffins while the bread is rising.  Recipes to follow.  :)