Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread-- WOW

I've been following a blog lately http://myfoodstoragedeals.blogspot.com and the author recently posted a whole wheat bread recipe which she said was the best she had tried.

The trick is in the sponging technique, the use of Vital Wheat gluten, and the use of lemon juice. I tried it and LOVED it. I cut the recipe in half and it made two huge loaves. Although you can find her post here, I'm going to cut and paste her text into this post, shown below in green, just in case the link breaks. I've added my comments in red.

Emilie's Whole Wheat Bread

Makes four 4 8/4 inch loaves.

7 c. whole wheat flour (grind your own if you have a wheat grinder)
2/3 c. vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 T. instant yeast

5 c. steaming hot water (120-130 F) I was nervous to make the water super hot for fear of killing the yeast, but I went ahead and did it and it worked just fine.

2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (I like honey the best!) I used honey and loved it.
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice

5 c. whole wheat flour I have tried 3 cups white and 2 cups whole wheat. It makes the loaves lighter.

Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). I added a little step here. I turned my oven on to 125 and then turned it off. Then I put my bowl in the warm oven for the sponging.

Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.
I've been doing this step a little differently, with good results. I've been alternating the wet and dry ingredients, incorporating each very slowly and mixing well.

Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Once again I turned my oven on to 125 and then turned it off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes until dough reaches top of pan. I am finding that it is taking about 25 mins. to raise. A few times I have let the loaves get too big. Bigger isn't better. It turns out best when I let the dough reach the top of the pan, maybe a little above but not much. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks. This recipe can be halved to make 2 loaves. I halved the recipe and it made 2 huge loaves. Otherwise it makes 4.

*Emilie ONLY uses Bakers Secret 8x4 inch non stick pans (we could only find them at Smith's grocery store, strange enough). I used the pans I had and it was fine.

**Another tip..when the dough is put into the bread pans, squish the dough softly into the corners of your bread loaf pans. This will make your bread cook more evenly and not have the large lump in the middle of your loaf. I squished but still had the hump. The hump isn't a problem for me!

Brenda's assessment: The bread was soft and elastic, almost like store bought bread. I made it yesterday, and the loaf is still soft. The thing I loved about the recipe is that this recipe is FAST compared to some other recipes.


  1. I think I'll have to try this one tonight! I just FINALLY got my WonderMill wheat grinder yesterday. YAY!

  2. Jodi- I hope you'll let us know your assessment of the recipe. And, how do you like the WonderMill?

  3. Made the bread this morning and LOVED it!