Monday, January 3, 2011

Whole Wheat for the Whole Week

A weekly tradition has begun - at least 2 loaves of bread for the week, sliced and ready for morning toast, sandwiches, or for dipping in soup at dinner. This is a very versatile, nutritious and tasty loaf! 

We used it tonight for grilled cheese and tomato soup! 

For whole wheat bread I used another recipe from Lavish Simplicity


2 cups warm water 
1 Tbs yeast 
3 Tbs sweetener (honey, sugar, molasses, or agave) 
3 Tbs oil (earth balance, canola, olive, or real butter) 
2 tsp salt 
4-5 cups stone ground whole wheat flour 
1 Tbs vital wheat gluten 

Method: Mix the yeast into the warm water first, then add everything except the salt, flour and vital wheat gluten. Once the yeast is dissolved, add the salt and vital wheat gluten with the first cup of flour. Mix by hand (or wooden spoon, or mixer with a dough hook) adding a cup or so at a time until the dough begins to stick to your hands.

Give the dough a deep massage for 10 minutes, perhaps air kneading (It's my favorite method!) until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

First Rise: Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour) 

Second Rise: Lightly dust a work surface and cut the dough in half, forming each part into a ball and working it so that you are stretching the dough in the middle by moving it to the outside with your palms and then tucking the outsides back in with your fingers. Stretch and tuck a few times, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. The recipe then says to "let the dough sit and think about life for a few minutes." 

Enjoy the time, be at peace with having doughy hands and take a few deep breaths.

Third Rise: Flatten the dough balls, then roll then into fat cylinders. Place the into greased bread pans, seam down, and cover with a damp cloth to rise again for another 20-30 minutes. 

Baking: 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees F. The bread is done when the crust is brown, if it sounds hollow to a thump on the bottom, or when the internal temperature is 195 degrees. Take the bread the pan and let it cool on a rack. 


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Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. I approve of this.

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