100% Whole Wheat Bread

This fall, I’ve been baking my own bread each week. I keep meaning to break it down into a cost analysis and see how much I’m saving, but I haven’t yet. Just know that it’s saving me a bunch of money by not buying a loaf of bread every week.

I found this uber-simple recipe, and have adapted it only slightly. Let’s get down to business. If you’re just looking for the recipe, scroll down to the bottom for the abridged version.

First things first, dissolve one packet of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.) in 1 cup of warm water (not hot, hot. not lukewarm. warm). If you want to be super exact, shoot for about 110 degrees.

Once it’s dissolved almost all the way, add the following:

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 Tbs vital wheat gluten (semi-optional, but recommended, as it will make your  bread softer. you can buy it in the flour/baking section of your grocery store)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt

Mix it all up!

Mix in 3 cups whole wheat flour, setting aside half a cup for later use.

Once the dough is all mixed up, use some of your half cup of extra flour to dust your countertop.

Knead in the rest (or at least most) of the leftover flour over the course of 6 to 10 minutes. Ie. sprinkle some flour on, knead it in. When the dough gets sticky, sprinkle more on, knead it in, etc. You want to end up with a nice, smooth ball of bread dough. A note about kneading: put some muscle into it. Fold the dough in half, then push into it with the heel of your hand, and repeat. Over and over again.

Pour 1 Tbs. oil into the bottom of a clean bowl, and put your bread dough in it. Swirl it around so that the whole thing is coated in oil.

Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside. Allow it to rise for at least an hour. After it’s done, it should look like this:

Spray a bread pan, punch down the dough and form it into a log and place it in the pan. Cover loosely with saran wrap.

Allow the dough to rise for another hour and a bit, or until the bread has risen an inch above the edge of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 42 minutes. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack.

Here’s a recap:

  • 1 packet yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 Tbs vital wheat gluten (semi-optional, but it will make the bread softer)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Mix together all ingredients, but the flour. Then, mix in 3 cups of flour. Transfer the mixed dough to a flour-dusted countertop, and work in the rest of the flour by hand. You’ll have to knead it for 6ish minutes, adding flour as you go.

Pour 1 Tbs. oil into the bottom of a clean bowl, and put your bread dough in it. Coat dough complete with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside. Allow it to rise for at least an hour.

Spray a bread pan, punch the dough down, and form it into a log and place it in the pan. Cover loosely with Saran wrap. Allow the dough to rise for another hour and a bit, or until the bread has risen an inch above the edge of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 42 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.