Friday, September 23, 2011

Healthy Living--Homemade Bread-updated

Whenever I can make something from scratch that is healthier for my family I try to.  At first the challenge is finding a good recipe and then it's mastering it.  After many years of experimenting with many recipes I have found a winner.
This summer I took advantage of the free cooking class offered in my Cache Valley Savings Guide (have loved the coupons in here!).  The cooking class was at Love to Cook Kitchen Kneads (my favorite store).  The class was a whole wheat bread baking class.  I learned so much from this class plus got a free bread pan and two loaves of bread!  I would highly recommend taking this or other classes at the store.  I was the only person in the class so I was able to really get a lot from the class because I felt like I could ask as many questions as I wanted and have her repeat things.  One of the things I feel you have to experience is the feel of what the dough feels like.  If you put too much flour in you get a crumbly bread and if their is not enough flour the dough is hard to work with because it's so sticky.  Well I thought I would share with you the recipe they use.  I really like it because it uses 100% whole wheat and it tastes delicious even after several days of making.  Its great after freezing.  The texture stays together well for sandwiches and we love it for toast.  I like to make two batches in a day and freeze all but one or two loafs.  Then I only have to make bread every other week or so.
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe:
5 cups Warm Water (baby bath warm)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup Dough Conditioner or 3 TB Dough Enhancer
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 Cup Gluten
2 TB SAF Instant Yeast
1 TB Salt

12 Cups Whole Wheat Flour, Divided
Mix water, oil, dough conditioner and honey in your mixer.  In a smaller separate bowl combine a few cups of flour, yeast, gluten, and dough enhancer and mix.  (I just add it one at a time in the mixer)  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mix gradually adding a few more cups of flour.  When the mixture looks like a thick paste, add the salt.  Continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.  The dough should be soft and moist but not sticky.  Put the lid on the mixer, turn up the speed one level and knead for 5 minutes.  Portion the dough into 4 (23 oz) loaves.  (These are pretty small loaf pans I have bigger loaf pans that take about 30-35 oz of dough)  Grease, yes grease with shortening your hands and counter.  You should not put any flour down on your counter.  Shape into loaves and put into a greased pan.  Let rise until doubled. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degree oven.  Internal temperature should be 190 degrees.

Some things I learned or have done differently since the class.
1-I bought a digital scale to weigh my dough.  If your pan has not enough dough in it you may raise your dough too much which will cause your bread to fall and be hard.  The dough fills about 3/4 of the pan from the bottom up.
2-I bought cinnamon chips at the store to make cinnamon bread--great for breakfasts!
3-When I put the dough in the pan, I know press it really good into the pan so their isn't any space at the bottom of the pan not filled with dough.  Before I will keep the rounded shape of the loaf and let it fill it.  That potentially will make your bread raise funny.
4-My temp. of the water is a lot less now.  I use to microwave the water and it was really HOT!
5- I always use both Gluten and Dough Enhancer and it really makes a difference.  This helps the bread raise better and you get a more consistent fluffier bread.
6-  I still raise my bread in a pre-heated oven (lowest temp of the oven) but the bread in and then turn the oven off.  This is what she did for the cooking class and it works so well.  Once the bread is raised, I take out of oven and preheat oven and then cook the bread.
7-I use to coat my counters with flour so it wouldn't stick, now I make sure the dough is not sticky before I put it out on the counter.  To test I stick my finger in the dough to see if it sticks if it does I add a little more flour.  Use Shortening on hands and counters to shape the dough.
8-When doing filled breads like cinnamon bread or pizza twists I now check the temperature before I take it out so it's not doughy.  Internal temp.  should be 190 degrees.
9-I use freshly ground wheat whenever possible.
10-I haven't had luck doubling this recipe because it just makes too much for my bowl.  Next time I'm going to try to 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I'll have to find my trusty calculator!
My next challenge is Homemade Flour Tortillas.  Anyone got experience in that?  I tried one recipe last week that didn't go too bad but I'm still going to search.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I should really try this and now I feel like I have the info to succeed!

  2. My taste buds are salivating just reviewing this recipe! I am a sucker for homemade bread and could consume the entire loaf while watching the news!

    I found you on MMB! Look forward to learning more!


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