Whole Wheat Bread Tutorial, Part 4: The Recipe

This is the fourth and final in a series of posts on making whole wheat bread from freshly ground whole wheat flour, and this post contains…. the recipe! And it’s the recipe, I’d guess, that is what the admirably long-suffering readers of my other three posts have been beyond patiently waiting for! Because in my estimation, it’s time to stick a fork in this tutorial, and call it done! 

Part 4 of my 4 Part Tutorial on Whole Wheat Bread: the Grain Mill. #Wholewheatbread #recipe

The Goal

What Did The Other Three Parts of Your Tutorial Cover?

In case you’re joining the rest of us for the first time, here’s a recap. The first post dealt with the grain mill itself. The second post offered information in regard to the types of wheat berries that are available, and I specified my own personal preference: the ones I find best suited, in fact, for this very recipe. The third post involved lots of other incidental facts that had to do with ingredients such as sweeteners, yeast, and how I handle wheat berry and flour storage.

But THIS post, this fourth in the series,  I am happy to say, is perfectly usable as a stand-alone post. It’s also suitable for anyone who is UNINTERESTED in the whole freshly milled flour thing, because the recipe I’m going to give you today can easily be used with store bought flour.

So “Hooray!!!”, I say,  for the rest of you bakers and wanna-be bakers out there who don’t grind your own flour. This is NOT a hard recipe. This CAN be done. By YOU! Take it off your bucket list, get a new bag of King Arthur Whole Wheat flour from the grocery store (and not the opened bag that’s been sitting on your shelf unused for months and months…or maybe even longer than that) and give this recipe a try!!! πŸ˜€

Before we get going, though, there is one more ingredient I’d like to discuss with you: freshly ground flax seed.

The Importance of Freshly Ground Flax Seed

First off, let me start out by saying that this recipe does not NEED the flax seed I’ve included in it. So if you want to omit that from the recipe, because you don’t have any, that’s just fine. You should go ahead and bake your bread.

HOWEVER….I’ve started adding freshly ground flax seed to my whole wheat bread. There are several things I think you might like to know about the importance of flax seed. The dietician at the hospital where my husband had his coronary bypass surgery told us to be sure to use flax seed to help my dear husband  raise his HDL: his healthy cholesterol.  (The HDL carries the bad cholesterol out of your blood and to your liver, where your liver can dispose of it, instead of allowing it to build up in your veins and arteries.

 And for those with no history of heart disease, who think this doesn’t apply to you: women, as we approach menopause, our HDL levels tend to plummet. Bummer, huh?) Flax seed has also been recommended lately as being helpful in treating perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Flax seed contains both lignans and alpha linolenicic acids, about which the internet tells me: 

” Lignans are capable of binding to estrogen receptors and interfering with the cancer-promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. Lignans are therefore being studied for their possible effects on breast, prostate and colon cancer. Lignans are also good antioxidants scavenging free radicals that are thought to play a role in many diseases.”  

So, as you can imagine, my husband and I are both interested in eating more flax seed, in smoothies as well as in our whole wheat bread.

But here’s the kicker: If you don’t grind flax seeds, for the most part, the flax seeds will pass through your body without you gaining any nutritional benefit, except for the occasional seed that happens to get crunched by your teeth. The benefit that comes from the flax seed is found in the oil that comes from within the broken or ground seed, and the flax seeds need to be freshly milled/ground, so that the oil doesn’t have time to oxidize.

Lest you think that this is another promotion for a grain mill, I assure you, it’s not! Pay attention now, because this is important. If you have a grain mill,  you can’t mill flax seed in it, according to my Nutrimill manufacturer. So, what’s a freshly milled flax seed oil wanting person supposed to do??? If you want freshly milled flax seed, do it in your blender or VitaMix or in a coffee grinder that you’ve cleaned out or designated for grinding spices (thanks for that tip, Melissa!).

One other reminder about sweeteners, that I’ve already covered in earlier posts: for this recipe you may use whatever sweetener you prefer. If you’re opposed to sugar, substitute what you like (honey, agave nectar or whatever).

What Kind of Mixer Do You Use?

I used to use my KitchenAid Mixer to knead my bread, and it worked OK, but two loaves of whole wheat bread were its absolute limit. It would start smelling and feeling hot by the end of the kneading. With this recipe, you can certainly knead by hand if that is your preference.

However, these days, now that I am LOVING my brand new Bosch mixer, that’s what I use. It has a larger capacity than my KitchenAid did, is so much more stable, and I absolutely love it! And my readers can get a special price on it. Click the link for further information. I am absolutely 100% convinced that for those who want to bake bread, the Bosch mixer is the way to go!!!

Now, on to the long promised recipe. The basic framework of this recipe came from a recipe I found on Epicurious, but I have altered it to suit my family. If you try it, I believe you’ll say it was worth the wait. I’ve tried many recipes, but this one is the best I have ever tried, and you don’t even need to add vital wheat gluten (an extra ingredient that many recipes call for to help the bread rise).

Whole Wheat Bread
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups warm water, (approximately 105ΒΊ)
  2. 2 1/2 t. active dry yeast
  3. 1 t. sugar
  4. 1/4 c. molasses
  5. 1/4 c. warm water
  6. 5 to 6 c. whole wheat flour
  7. 1/2 c. freshly ground flax seed
  8. 2 T. sugar
  9. 2 t. salt
  10. 1/2 c. canola oil
  11. an egg wash, made by beating one egg white with 1 t. water
  12. 2 T. old fashioned rolled oats, for sprinkling on loaves of bread
Instructions
  1. In a pyrex mixing cup, stir together the 1 3/4 c. warm water, the 1 t. sugar, and the yeast. Let stand until yeast is bubbling, about 5 minutes.
  2. In another mixing cup or small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 c. molasses and the 1/4 c. warm water. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl, using the dough hook, and the dough hook extender, stir together on low 2 c. of the flour, the sugar, flax seed and the salt. Pour in oil, and then the molasses and yeast mixtures. Stir well, and stop mixer to scrape bottom of bowl. Turn mixer back on low, and add enough of the remaining 3 to 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Turn mixer off and replace paddle attachment with dough hook. Knead dough on low for 10 minutes. Dough should have cleaned the side of the bowl, and be smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and turn it to coat. Let rise, covered in plastic wrap, in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (I let mine rise in the oven with the light on.)
  5. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400ΒΊ, and grease 2 loaf pans.
  7. Divide dough ball in half. Form dough balls into oval loaves. Transfer loaves to pans, and let rise, covered with kitchen towels, 45 minutes. Brush tops of loaves lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with oats.
  8. Bake loaves in middle of oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ΒΊ and bake loaves 20 to 25 minutes more, or until golden brown. Turn loaves out onto a rack to cool.
Notes
  1. The dough hook extender on the Bosch mixer helps you do smaller batches of bread really well. It does a great job of scraping the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
That Susan Williams https://www.thatsusanwilliams.com/
Just a few pictures, to illustrate the process.
 

 

Yeast, fully proofed and foamy. On this day, I used a dark honey to help the yeast grow.

 

The dough is cleaning the side of the bowl: kneading is almost done.

 

Dough taken from mixer and placed in bowl to rise.

 

Dough fully risen

 

 

 

 

Punching dough down.
Dough rising in pan.
Bread cooling on rack.
With cherry preserves. Get in my belly!!!
What about YOU???
 
Do you think you can do this?
 
Do you WANT to do this?
 
Do you have any remaining questions?
 

Would you like to link me to your recipe? (I warn you: I’ve tried quite a few, courtesy of my friends at the Sonlight forums.)

 

 


Yum
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Comments

  1. I am so going to try this recipe. Mark’s cholesterol isn’t great, and given the whole cancer thing here, I’m going to get some flax seed too. One question – do you think I could mill the flax seed in my food processor? I don’t have a vitamix and my blender is so-so.

  2. Finally. πŸ˜‰

  3. I bet a food processor would be fine, Andrea. The main thing is, you want to bust the casings of those seeds.

  4. I know, Robin!!! ‘Bout time, huh?

  5. Is there a health benefit to proofing the yeast and double rising the dough? I was taught to make bread that way and then a few years later I learned how to make bread without using either of those techniques. (My yeast goes in the mix last and when my dough comes out of the kitchen aid I cut it in half, shape it and drop it in the pans to rise then bake.) It’s so much faster but I have often wondered if I’m sacrificing something. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’m very interested in including molasses in a loaf.

  6. Hey, Jessica!

    As far as I know, there is no health benefit at all.

    Proofing the yeast is done just to make sure that it works.

    The three rises are done to give the yeasties as much time to grow and eat up as many sugars from either the molasses or flours as they can. The more sugars they digest, the stronger the gluten “web” will be, and the more likely the bread will rise higher.

    Hope that helps!

  7. I DO think I can do it! I have never heard of “egg wash”, so learned something there. Also really appreciate that tutorial about flax seed. I am going to stock up!

  8. Yay, Kelley! I think you can, too! I’m kind of excited about what I’m reading about flax seed myself.

  9. I’ll definitely have to try your recipe. My favorite recipe is here: http://everydayfoodstorage.net/2009/03/11/making-homemade-bread-the-food-storage-recipe-challenge/food-storage-recipes

    It contains vital wheat gluten, plus the addition of potato flakes and vinegar. They act as a dough enhancer and create amazing lift in the bread. Every time I make that recipe I am amazed at how easy it is and how fast the bread gets eaten.

  10. I have always been a bit scared to bake bread that requires getting to punch it, but it looks fun!

    I too am excited to meet you in Atlanta, and you have a new follower now too πŸ™‚

  11. Dear Harried Homemaker: my friend makes delicious potato rolls! I took a look at the recipe that you linked me to, and it looks a lot like her recipe. Thanks so much!

  12. Hey, JanMary! I just loved looking at your blog this morning. Showed the pictures to my husband, too. He knows it’s always been my dream to go to Ireland. I plan on it, someday, if the Lord gives me life, strength, and money! We could swap houses, but I’m not sure how you’d feel about vacationing in the Boonies. πŸ˜€

  13. Totally OT….

    I love that blue bowl!! You must tell me about that bowl… I NEED a blue bowl. *sigh*

  14. Now on to my “real” comment.

    I am a bread baking slacker.

    I’ve got the berries, all of the supplies and yet I keep buying store bought bread. What is wrong with me?

    Sooze – you’ve inspired me. I will bake some bread soon πŸ™‚ And try your recipe. But not today. Tuesdays are my “out of the house” day.

  15. popping in from SITS to say Hi….
    That looks so yummy!
    Any homemade bread is so good, but that which is made with molasses is all the better. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Have a beautiful day

  16. Whew! The recipe… finally! I’ve been waiting for days! Well at least 2 days as I’ve finally caught up on my Google Reader. πŸ™‚ I will definitely try this recipe. I love molasses and love the fact that perhaps I’ll not need to add gluten as I’ve been doing to my home ground bread. I also like the fact that you add flax seed. My dh thought I was blooming nuts when I walked out of a Raley’s in CA with several ponds of golden flax seed in tow. I was not to be dissuaded. :)I think it is I who live in the boonies- nothing along the lines of a health food store here. Not even an attempt at one. Thanks!

  17. Yes!! Thank you!

    The bread is gorgeous, the recipe looks simple enough…but I found myself distracted by your beautiful gas oven!! I so desperately want a gas oven. We don’t have gas here, and it would be cost prohibitive right now to install it…but your oven is lovely and I’m happy you get to enjoy cooking on it!

    I promise to let you know when I make this recipe and how we all liked it. I’ll probably blog about it and link to your tutorial, if that’s ok.

  18. I bet you’re talking about the cooktop, right? That cooktop was propane for five of the six years we’ve lived here. We converted to gas last year when it became available in our neighborhood, finally. Gas has saved us some money, but cooking on propane was OK.

    My oven is electric and built in the wall. The cooktop is on top of my island. In terms of ovens, electric is just as good or better in my opinion.

    But when it comes to a cooktop? Must have flame! Be it propane or gas.

  19. I’ve decided to attempt homemade bread. I told my husband, Michael, that I knew just the place to find a good recipe. I’m looking forward to trying this soon. Of course, I’ll have to use store bought flour to start off, and I don’t have any way that I can think of to grind the flaxseed just yet… I need to go shopping!

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