Whole Wheat Bread

I've been making bread since I've been married and I made it for years using a large bowl, kneading by hand and using traditional active dry yeast.  Then I discovered instant rise yeast and my bread baking time was almost cut in half.  I love it and regardless of what the experts say about regular yeast imparting a better flavour to the bread, I'm all for progress.  I still give the bread a rise after mixing it but the time is so much shorter than before.  

And then..... I bought a heavy duty stand mixer and my life has not been the same.  (I'm being melodramatic, but my life DID change.)  I now mix my bread in the mixer.  I can make 4 loaves at a time and I don't have to mix and knead it by hand.  Now, if that isn't life-changing, I don't what is!    

I usually use a mix of whole wheat and white flour as the bread rises higher but today I made 100% whole wheat.  The loaves are a little smaller and denser but the bread is very good.  Instead of making all loaves as I usually do, I made a half dozen hamburger buns and 3 loaves of bread.

Whole Wheat Bread
4 cups lukewarm water
⅓ cup oil   
2 tablespoons honey or molasses   
2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast   
4-5 cups white flour, or use all whole wheat
6-7 cups whole wheat flour

Optional ingredients that act as dough enhancers:
2 tablespoons lemon juice, added to wet ingredients
¼ cup dry skim milk powder, added to wet ingredients

Mix lukewarm water, oil, honey and salt and any optional ingredients together in mixer bowl.  

Mix yeast  with 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.  (I just dump it all together in the mixer bowl.)  Add to the liquid ingredients.  Using the dough hook mix thoroughly on low adding the white flour as you mix.  Add the remainder of whole wheat flour a little at a time until you have a smooth ball of dough that leaves the side of the bowl.  You may not use all the flour or you may use a little more.  It all depends on the humidity the day you make bread. Knead about 10 minutes. 

Place in a greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Form into loaves or rolls and place in well greased bread pans and let rise again until double in bulk.  

Bake 375 degrees for 30 minutes for loaves or 20 minutes for rolls.   When bread comes out of oven you may rub the top surface with butter. 

Makes 4 medium loaves.

I throw everything in the mixer bowl, except the flour which I add gradually until I have a dough that leaves the side of the bowl.  My mixer was in an awful mess today.  When I turned it on to mix the bread I had the speed on 12, the highest speed.  The flour and water went everywhere!  Glad I had on the splash guard. 

Using instant yeast the dough takes about 45 minutes to an hour to double in size.
I like to make my bread in 3 buns.  The dough should double in size again before baking. 
To make hamburger buns, let the formed buns rise about 15 minutes and then flatten them a little. Let rise until double and bake.

The finished buns and bread.  I've rubbed the top of the bread and buns with a little butter. 

To make multi-grain bread, add a cup of Red River cereal to the mix before adding the flour.  The multi-grain flour is expensive and if you read the ingredients it contains the same as the cereal: cracked flax seed, cracked rye and cracked wheat.  I keep my cereal in a jar so it won't get damp.

This will make lovely toast or sandwiches.  Don loves peanut butter and jam on his toast.


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