Alright. So we've made whole wheat bread before. Remember? And since that post, we've changed the way we do it enough that I'd like to share our new recipe. Since I began baking bread, we have not only started to grind all of our flour fresh, but we've also started soaking all of our flour products. If you've been following my blog, you've probably got the basics down by now: soak the dough with either lemon juice, vinegar, kefir, or buttermilk to help and break down the phytates! Well this bread is a soaked bread, and thus, is super digestible. Even for those that have gluten sensitivity!
About a year ago, my Aunt taught me how to bake bread – and I haven't bought another loaf since. Homemade bread is just so good! So fresh! So authentic. And if you know where to find your ingredients, pretty cheap too!
Soaked Whole Wheat Bread
You will need:
– 11 cups of whole wheat flour (find wheat berries here!)
– 1 cup acid medium (kefir, buttermilk, whey, or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice + 3/4 cup water)
– 3 cups warm water
– 2 cups oats
– 1 cup honey
– 3/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
Step One: Combine these ingredients in a mixer. Then, cover with a damp cloth and plastic wrap and allow to sit out at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
Step Two: After the soaking period is complete, combine the follow in a small bowl:
– 1/2 cup warm water
– 1 teaspoon honey
– 2 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
Allow the yeast to “proof,” i.e.: Get all fluffy and bubbly. Usually, this takes about 5 minutes.
Step Three: After the yeast has proofed, add it to the soaked flour mixture. Mix, mix, mix. Then, add:
– 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
– 3 tablespoons dough enhancer (if you've got it!). I use 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten instead. Is the dough too sticky? Add just enough flour that the dough begins to pull of the sides of your mixer. Don't add too much!
Step Four: Knead, baby, knead! Use your muscles! For about 10 minutes. If you need to sprinkle in a wee more flour to make the dough manageable, feel free to do so. After kneading the dough, place it in a greased bowl, cover, and let sit until doubled (usually about an hour or so). Punch the dough, turn it over, and allow it to rise again until doubled (thirty minutes or so).
I know this step may seem tedious, put really, it's pretty dang passive. All you have to do is keep an eye on it. And punch it. And flip it.
Step Five: After the dough has doubled, punch it down again, and divide it into three chunks. Using a floured rolling pin and a floured surface, roll one chunk at a time into a rectangle. Then, flip the rectangle over and roll it up like so.
Then, tuck the ends under and place the seam of the roll on the bottom. Place into a greased bread pan. Repeat with chunk of dough #2. Repeat with chunk of dough #3.
Step Six: Allow the loafs to rise in the bread pans until doubled. Then, put in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes – until nice and golden. Remove from the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. You may have to run a knife along the edge of the pan before removing the bread so that it doesn't stick!
Bread. Tender bread. Sweet bread.
You know what this calls for?
And homemade strawberry jam (thanks Mom!).
Here's a tip: If you won't go through three loaves that quickly, stick a few in the freezer! Wrapped in a few recycled bread bags, they freeze wonderfully.
I swear. This bread is delicious. I swear, I say!
Most mornings, we have a toasted piece of this bread, smeared with high quality butter, and topped off with a fried egg. Or a scrambled egg. Or a hard boiled egg. Or, when we're feeling rich, bacon!
I love bacon. I love eggs. I love bread.
This post is making me hungry.
Won't you try to make this bread? Please? This weekend would be a perfect time to put on your Big Girl pants and give it a go! Or Big Boy pants, should you be a, ahem, male.
Then, report back to me. Pronto. If I can help you succeed in bread making, I will! If nothing else, I would be happy to taste test for you.
I'm selfless like that.
Happy Friday, my bread lovin' friends!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.