Wholly Whole Wheat Bread!!

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I got into baking bread seven or eight years ago on the hottest day of the summer.  Not sure what I was thinking, maybe that the warm weather would be good for rising dough, no matter what I was thinking I was hooked.  It was just so much fun, and so relaxing.  Let me state for the record, I do not own a bread machine, my oven and my hands are my bread machine.  If it were up to me, I would bake loaves and loaves all day then give them away.  Of course keeping a few for myself.  I bought a few books on baking bread, Crust and Crumb being my favorite.  I do get a lot of inspiration for perusing Pinterest and other sites, taking a recipe and making it my own by changing a few things that make it better suit my taste.  This recipe for whole wheat bread is a combination of a few recipes mixed with some trial and error.  Something I thought would work in my mind didn’t quite cut it when it came to the actual making of the bread.  I think it turned out pretty darn good, even the twinadoes thought so!!

For the Recipe:

1 1/4 warm water (between 105 F – 115 F)

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. dry milk powder

3 1/2 – 4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

In the bowl of a mixer (or regular bowl if you are mixing/kneading by hand) add the water, yeast, and honey.  Give a good stir and let sit for 5 or so minutes.  You should see the yeast getting all yeasty and forming little bubbles.  If this doesn’t happen, the water was either too cold or too hot and you will need to start over.  Next add the canola oil, milk powder, one cup of the flour and the salt.  Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on a somewhat low speed to start or you will end up with flour all over you and not in the bowl, turn it up as the flour is incorporated.  Next, add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Stopping when the dough is nice and smooth, but still a little sticky.  You might need all the flour, or you might not, that’s why you don’t want to dump it all in at once.  One you have mixed in all the flour you need, continue to mix the dough for another 8-10 minutes.  While it’s kneading, put a tablespoon of oil into a bowl, you will use this bowl to put the dough in to rise.  Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 –  2 hours, depending on how warm the room it’s rising in is kept.  After the dough has risen, take it out and knead it a few more times, shape it into a loaf and put in a loaf pan.  Let it rise another hour before baking at 350 F for 35 minutes.  Once it’s done, I like to brush a little butter on the top to keep it from getting crusty.  If you like that harder crust, don’t do this.  Let the bread cool for 30 minutes before you cut into it.  Truth be told, I find it hard to wait that long….

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Enjoy!!

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