I gots a new recipe for ya. Excited?
Whoa, whoa, whoa there! Calm down. I know you're excited, but we must remain focused if we are to execute this properly. You ready?
WHOLE WHEAT BREAD!
Now I know that it's easy to pick up a loaf for a few bucks at the store. I know it may seem like a total pain to make it from scratch when, well, you really don't need to. But next time you go to buy some, take a look at the ingredients. Unless you pay upwards of $5 a loaf for an organic bread, chances are you're going to be eating a lot of preservatives, genetically modified wheat, chemicals, and sweeteners that have no home in real bread. Leave us alone you filthy ingredients – you are not welcome on this homestead.
Let it be known, I suck a baking. I have this issue with following recipes. Free lance is more my style. So the meticulous and critical measuring required for baking really grates on my nerves. But this recipe is very forigving, so it's worth a shot, even if you're like me and have a baking handicap.
Step One: Mix 5 cups of really warm water, 1 tablespoon salt, 2/3 cup organic sugar, and 2/3 cup vegetable oil eek!!! I would never use this anymore – forget I posted this! in your kitchen mixer.
Step Two: Add 7 cups of whole wheat flour and allow it to mix well with the liquid.
Step Three: Add 3 tablespoons of yeast (I use instant yeast that I buy in bulk at URM – roughly $3 for enough to fill a mason jar! Don't buy it from the regular grocery store, it is disgustingly overpriced).
Hello, yeast. Welcome to the party.
Step Four: Add roughly 3 cups more flour. Sometimes I use whole wheat pastry flour for this to keep the bread a little lighter. You could also substitute half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose white, or rather, any combination of the two. I like whole wheat because then you get the whole wheat, including the wheat germ which is what has all the nutrients. They originally starting making flour without the wheat germ because the germ shortens the shelf life of the flour. I just store mine in the fridge to keep it from getting rancid and have never had any problems. Keep all the nutrients where they should be, I say!
Step Five: Keep mixing and adding little bits of flour until the dough is still sticky, but is pulling off the sides of the mixing bowl. The walls of the bowl should end up almost clean as it all pulls off. Be careful to not add too much flour. The dough will be very sticky to your touch – not what you'd expect.
Step Six: Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, cover with a wet towl, and allow to rise until doubled (usually about one hour) in a warm place.
Step Seven: Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, and with oiled hands, divide the dough into four balls.
Step Eight: Using a rolling pin and a floured surface, roll one of the balls out into an oblong shape. Then flip the dough over, and with your hands, roll it up into a log-shape. Tuck the ends under to hide the edges, and place in a greased bread pan. (This takes practice, and trust me, I'm no expert – just try to make it loaf-life!) Repeat for the remaining balls of dough.
Step Nine: Cover the loaf pans and allow the bread to raise for another 30-45 minutes.
Step Ten: Put the pans in the oven at 350 degrees for roughly 20-25 minutes, until just golden on top. Once they are finished baking, remove them from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool. You don't want to let them hang out in the pans too long.
Voila! You are finished! Pretty painless, huh?
Plus, it makes the house smell good.
Plus, you get to eat it right out of the oven with butter and honey.