I’ve been working on the “perfect” bread recipe for about a month now. While I still would like to have some sort of mill to grind my own flour, this is what I’ve found works for us right now. I also found that at our local HEB, they have a machine that grids wheat berries, so anyone can have fresh wheat flour! Too cool.
I began by using a recipe from a cookbook I bought last summer in Amish country. I am a collector of cookbooks, and couldn’t pass up buying one (or maybe two) while we were there. This one quickly became one of my favorites. The name, in case you’re ever in the Pennsylvania Dutch area, is “Simple Cooking and Beyond.” It’s a thick spiral-bound cookbook filled with recipes submitted by both Amish and Mennonites.
After several (four or five) of my own tweakings and revisions, I have come up with my current “go-to” recipe for wheat bread. And I’m even slowly sneaking in some other healthy grains that my kids haven’t tasted enough to balk at yet.
Whole Wheat Bread
1 Tbs. yeast
2 and 7/8 cups warm water
1/2 cup local honey
1 spoonful soft butter (@ 1-2 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
3.5 cups unbleached white flour
Mix yeast, water and honey. Stir with a spoon until yeast is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients. With the dough hook attachment on your mixer, stir on low until mixture becomes dough and begins pulling from the side. You want it a little sticky, but if it’s way too sticky, just add a little more flour. Turn off the mixer and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Next, turn the mixer to speed “2″ and let knead for 5-7 minutes. Take the hook out of the dough, and set the bowl, covered with a dish towel, in a warm area and let the dough double in bulk. About 45 minutes. After dough has risen, punch down and knead 4-5 times on lightly floured board. Place into three loaf pans, or as my kids prefer, 1 mini loaf pan and two regular loaf pans. You could also do buns or rolls. Whatever you like. Cover and let rise again another 45 minutes to an hour. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 minutes. Brush tops with butter when they come out of the oven. Mmmm…