Sunday, August 26, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread

This morning we decided to make homemade bread. Steve has been making his own bread for a few weeks now.  When I was still in Albuquerque I got a bread machine from my parents for Christmas.  Christi and I had tried to make bread in the bread machine, but we couldn't figure out the right measurements because of the high altitude.  I'm really excited to make bread in the machine without worrying about high altitude and having the loaf turn out like a "brick" as some people called it. Here are two examples of bread we made at high altitude in Albuquerque.  The one on the left was a mess and didn't rise at all. We still baked it but it came out looking somewhat like a brain.  The one on the right was a little better. It did rise but was too dry to really make it worth it.  Also the bottom crust was very hard.  Hopefully bread made in Texas will be better!

The recipe we used came from the book that came with the machine.

Fat Free Basic Wheat Bread
1 2/3 cups Water
3 1/2 cups Bread Flour (we only had All Purpose flour so we used that)
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

We put the ingredients into the bread machine in the order that they are listed.  We were feeling lazy and also wanted this loaf for sandwich bread so we are baking it right in the machine.  But we easily could have taken it out after the dough was ready and shape it how we wanted and baked it in the oven.    It takes over 3 hours but will be well worth it in the end.

After 3 hours filled with lunch, Big Bang Theory and cleaning the patio we have a successful loaf of bread!!!  We tried coconut oil and butter on the bread, both were delicious.  Right now it is cooling on a cooling rack so the bottom stays crispy and doesn't get soggy from sitting on the cutting board.

Whole Wheat Bread without a bread machine

You can make this recipe without the bread machine by proofing the yeast  for 10 minutes in the 1 2/3 cups lukewarm water before adding the dry ingredients. Let the dough rise for 3 to 5 hours, knead it down until it's no longer sticky by slowly adding flour to the dough ball. Then place the dough in a warm place and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and allow the dough to proof for an hour or so. After it proofs form it in the shape you want it to be in as a loaf, score the top a few times for steam to escape and then place in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes or until the exterior is a nice golden brown and the bread has a firm and heavy feel.

If you haven't made homemade bread it's both easy and delicious!

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