Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Best Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

.... as in ~ moist, melt-in-your mouth, perfect, old-fashioned-flavor kind of bread... the one that calls for fresh ground whole wheat flour .... you know, the kind of bread that has all that healthy stuff - oh and the one that requires kneading. by hand. Yeah - thaaaaaaat recipe! But, believe me, it is so worth it!

(This recipe is being offered in reference to this post.)

Grandma Shirley's Homemade Bread
Yield: 6 large loaves (or about 10 mini loaves)

6 cups warm water
2 pkgs (or 2 TBsp) yeast
3 Tbsp salt
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/3 c. instant potatoes
16 + cups of whole wheat, fresh ground flour
*1 1/4 cups gluten (trust me, this is necessary when using the freshly ground whole wheat flour)

*If you are just using regular white flour bought from the store, then the gluten is not necessary.

You will need a very large mixing bowl for this. (This recipe is too big for a Kitchen-Aid.) Mix warm water & yeast. Add salt, sugar, oil, eggs, powdered milk & potatoes. Mix in flour. Knead and let rise until double in size (about 2 hours). Push down and let rise again. (about an hour to an hour and a half). Make loaves and let rise again (about an hour). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (large loaves) and 15-20 minutes for mini-loaves. Remove from pans and butter loaves. Place on cooling rack. Once completely cooled, seal in freezer bags.

The following are my own personal reminders but I strongly recommend this site for even more in-depth tips - you'll need them, especially if this is your first time making bread:
  • Water - not too warm.
  • Mix all ingredients in LARGE mixing bowl and when dough is ready, set it aside and wash and dry bowl. Next, grease the bowl with Pam or oil. Put dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place covered bowl in a barely warm oven. (I turn it on 200 for about 20 seconds and then turn it OFF.)
  • Adding flour: When dough is too thick to stir, mix or knead the remainder of flour in. You may need a bit more than recipe. You don't want the dough too sticky, but you don't want it too dry... just enough to be smooth to the touch, but tacky in texture.
  • KNEAD and knead some more... at least 20 minutes
  • Allow about 6 HOURS from start to finish.
  • I always have better luck with the smaller mini-loaf pans. They rise better, the size is just right and fun for the kids!

ENJOY your HEALTHY whole wheat bread!


Dawn said...

I loved reading your story about your family's favorite bread yesterday and was so hoping you would share the recipe. Now I can't wait to try it! Thank you so much for sharing your treasured family recipe.

Pam said...

I love your Blog! Keep up the good work! Very fun!

On June 1, 2007 you posted a bag pattern. I would love to make it and but I'm having trouble reading the print. Could you help me?

Pam said...

This is Pam that asked about the bag. My e-mail is