Bread is pretty much a staple breakfast item in almost every US household. And if you think about it, you do end up spending at least $20 per month, if not more, buying bread for your family. But you can bring this number down considerably if you take up the challenge of baking bread at home. It is not hard, from what I have gathered from my friends who bake regularly. Recently, I received a lot of requests from readers to post a tried-and-tested Wheat Bread recipe. So I gathered my books and headed over to my friend Jennifer’s place, who owns a bread machine, as well as the expertise on how to bake bread successfully. This post is an outcome of all those notes, and I think I have a good fail-proof recipe that should work for anyone who years to try it! Thanks Jennifer, for sharing this skill with all of us!
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil or softened butter
2 tablespoons honey
a pinch of citric acid (can use ascorbic acid instead)
2 teaspoons granulated lecithin
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
If you are going to do this on a regular basis, I suggest you invest in a Bread machine, as it will make your work very easy, and guarantee better results. I have tried to cover both methods here, so you can choose whichever you want.
Using a Bread Machine
Put all the listed ingredients into a Bread machine, and turn on the dough cycle. When dough cycle is complete, gently deflate dough, shape into a loaf, and place in a greased loaf pan. Grease the top of the loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size. Bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Keep checking to make sure the bread doe not get too brown. When bread is done, remove from pan, place on a cooling rack, and cover until cool. Seal in a bag or container after cooled.
Mix all the liquid ingredients and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add flours, yeast, and the remaining ingredients and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Now punch the dough down and knead for a few minutes until smooth and then form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Proceed with baking the bread at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If loaf starts browning too soon, lightly lay a piece of foil on top of the loaf to prevent too much darkening.
Remove bread from oven and allow to rest in pan for a few minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cover with a cloth. Slice and enjoy while still warm!
Using a bread machine will make your life much easier, especially if you plan to bake bread on a regular basis. It also cuts short the rise time, by aerating the dough enough in the machine.
Eating homemade bread can be very satisfying, and will also save you a lot of money. Once you have mastered the basic bread, fell free to experiment with more flavors, and I’ll be churning out a Wheat Bread recipe soon!