Monday, November 3, 2008

Divine White Wheat Bread That I am Taking Credit For

So I am totally going to flat out steal this recipe and rename it as mine. And not cause I'm a thief. It's because I have had to make so many modifications to this so-called recipe ("so-called" because it gives you so little actual direction) that it barely even resembles the one I started with. Sorry, Sister Sampson.

So for those of you who expressed interest in trying this really good bread recipe, here you go:

(Learned the hard way tip: It is really important to use freshly ground whole wheat flour. The reason that wheat bread tends to have a bitter taste, especially the crust, is that whole wheat contains oils. Once it is ground, it only takes about 3 weeks for the oils to go rancid. So most whole wheat flour that you buy at the store has already gone rancid. If you want to make wheat bread that doesn't have that bitter taste, you'll have to grind your own wheat, or get someone you know to grind it right before you make it. And if you're collecting wheat in your food storage, you are going to have to eat that wheat at some point, so why not invest in a wheat grinder now? Maybe request one for Christmas?)

(Makes two 9x5 loaves)

2 1/2 cups hot water or hot milk (I like it with milk. More flavorful. If you do the milk, microwave it until it is steaming, about 1 1/2-2 minutes).
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey or 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
5-7 cups freshly ground hard white wheat flour
1 TBS gluten
1 TBS dough enhancer
1 TBS yeast

Hook up an electric mixer with the bread hook attachment. Then pour 2 1/2 cups of flour in the bowl with the yeast an stir it together with a spooon. Next add your hot water/milk and stir it up. Then add all the rest of the ingredients, minus the flour. Stir it all together with a spoon. Now add 3 cups of flour and turn on the mixer on low. Once the dough is uniform, start adding flour 1/2 cup at a time. Your goal is to get the bread to pull away from the sides of the bowl and make a big lump in the middle of the mixer. So after you add each 1/2 cup, let it mix in completely. If it starts to stick back to the sides as it mixes, add another 1/2 cup. But as soon as it pulls away and doesn't stick back to the sides as it mixes, stop adding flour. Now mix for 7-8 minutes on low. Since the bread will be in a glob, you'll have to push it off the hook now and then. Now make a very clean spot on your counter. Pour a dollop of oil on the counter and spread it around. Drop the dough onto the oiled counter. Divide the dough in half. Get a little oil on your hands and begin forming the dough into a loaf shape. You do this by tucking the dough under itself, like you're pulling the sides of the blob down and then under. After you have done this a few times and the blob is smooth, stretch it into an oval and place it into a buttered bread pan. Set on the stovetop, and repeat with the other blob. Now cover the loaves with a cloth. Turn the oven on 350. Let the bread rise until it is at least doubled in size. (Learned the hard way tip: the bread should rise until it looks about how you'd want it to look as a finished loaf.) This may take 20-45 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the top is nicely brown. Brush the tops with butter, remove from pans, and cool, covered, on cooling racks.

The End!

Don't be discouraged if it doesn't turn out well the first time. For me, the keys were making sure I had good yeast, making sure I added just enough flour to form a blob (not too little so it was still gooey), and letting it rise until it was very high before baking it. I also had better success with glass/pyrex bread pans than metal ones. My bread rose higher and faster and cooked more evenly in my pyrex pan. The good thing about making bread is that it isn't very expensive. So if you have to try again, it won't cost you much. Once you figure this recipe out, you can double it for a larger family. Enjoy! (And let me know if you made any modifications that were helpful.)


Hildie said...

I bow to the master.

Is that your latest loaf? Gorgeous!

tiburon said...

That is very pretty. However there is entirely TOO MUCH work involved. I will just go to the store and spend the $3.

Mia said...

Could I just get you to make me some? Looks delicious.

Mindi said...

yumma yumma.

never baked a loaf of white or wheat bread in my life.

not something to be proud of. but there it is.

Anonymous said...

I almost didn't comment, but I have to say I hate homemade bread. It tastes too yeasty. I don't like yeast rolls either. Your post about creme brulee was great and I have to look at those beautiful pictures a few times a day to get me through the rough times.

Chelsea said...

Oh man, that looks SO good! I wish I could make some. But I don't have a grinder. Or wheat. Or a loaf pan. Maybe one day I'll get it together!

Misty said...

I am definitely going to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

alex dumas said...

Well if I ever want to make bread, I know where to find a recipe that works.