Recently I've been trying to bake more with whole grains. I'm kind of a white bread lovin' gal, but the Mommy-guilt of feeding my little ones white bread that is void of anything nutritional at all has gotten to me. It's time for us all to adjust and start eating less refined grains.
I've been fiddling around with this recipe from Tammy's Kitchen for the past few weeks. I'm not sure I have my version down to a science yet, but I still wanted to share the recipe because it is stellar. It is definitely the best whole wheat bread I've made.
That said, this bread calls for a few unusual ingredients -- citric acid and vital wheat gluten. These ingredients are "dough conditioners" and help get a softer whole wheat bread, but they are not absolutely necessary.
Because I bake with whole wheat, I keep vital wheat gluten in my pantry. If you are at all interested in baking with whole grains, just go get some. I've had mine for about 4 years (with only mediocre whole wheat baking on my part so I'm sure I'll go through it quicker now).
Just FYI -- 6 Tablespoons is equal to 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons!
Slightly Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups water
3 Tablespoons milk
6 Tablespoons oil (I use coconut oil)
6 Tablespoons honey
6 Tablespoons sucanat
3 teaspoons salt
3 cups white whole wheat flour
5 (or so)cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
6 teaspoons yeast
pinch of citric acid
sprinkle of ginger
In a small pot on the stove, warm water, milk, oil, honey, sucanat, salt to 110-115 degrees (very warm to the touch). Put liquid ingredients in the bowl of stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Mix in (with dough hook or a wooden spoon) yeast, whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, citric acid and ginger. Add in 2 cups all purpose flour. Keeping adding flour and mixing/kkneading until a smooth, slightly tacky dough forms. Drizzle oil over both sides of dough. Cover and allow to double in size (about an hour). Punch dough down and form in to 2 large or 3 small loaves. Put loaves in lightly greased loaf pans. Brush tops with oil, cover, and allow to rise until just less than doubled, 20-30 minutes. Bake for 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on size of loaves.