Saturday, October 11, 2008

White N' Wheat Bread

This is our every-day bread recipe. Since a loaf pan is small, it makes small sandwiches but the wheat is so filling that it's OK! The whole process takes me about 6 hours, but there are only about 10 minutes of hands-on time in the beginning, and then an occasional punch-down or roll-out. So if you have half an hour to watch this mix up in the Kitchen Aid in the morning, and plan on being around later for punching and rolling, you can have fresh bread!

I grind my own wheat flour, since we have so much of it from the cannery. I figure if I'm going to store the stuff, I should know how to use it for at least one or two recipes so we're not stuck eating boiled wheat! I use our Vita-Mix to grind the wheat berries- 2 cups of berries, grind for 1 minute and tap to get everything out that fell into the spigot, and then grind again for a minute. It's not a very "fine" flour, but it works well enough for bread.

I've posted a similar recipe before, for Simple Bread, but this recipe has my own changes. I added olive oil to make a smoother dough, and a softer/moister loaf. It's amazing what a glug of olive oil can do. I'm sure you could substitute almost any fat, but I like the olive oil with the nutty wheat. I've tried this with ALL wheat flour, and it turns out so dense that while everyone says it's good, I notice I'm the only one eating it. So, I scaled back to half and half white and wheat, and my whole family requests it- I figure ANY additional fiber is good, right?

The keys to making this really good:
  • Let it mix a long time before you add more flour, and add flour a little at a time so as much flour can have a long mixing time as possible. When the dough gets stiffer, it just doesn't get as much kneading action in the machine, so mix a lot while it's thin.
  • You want the dough as moist as possible. Add flour just until it's manageable.
  • Let this rise! You could get by with 1 rising in the bowl, but two makes such a nice loaf. And if you don't have time to bake, just keep punching it down when it's doubled. An overnight rise in the refrigerator is even better. You won't believe what a soft, smooth, dough you'll get.
  • Oil the dough well- I noticed that while my dough rises nicely in the bowl, the piece I gave my daughter to knead got left on the counter and NEVER rose. So make sure it has a thin coating all the way around. (I've never heard this anywhere else though, so maybe I'm just making things up...)

White N' Wheat Bread

2 cups very hot water
1 heaping Tablespoon yeast
2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil (a "glug")
3 cups all-purpose white flour
2-3 cups wheat flour

  • Put first three ingredients in mixer bowl, and let proof 10 minutes.
  • Add salt, olive oil, and 3 cups white flour. Mix with dough hook 10 minutes on low-medium speed. You'll see dough start to pull away from side of bowl in strings that snap.
  • Add wheat flour a half cup at a time, mixing a few minutes after each addition. Mix until dough completely pulls away from side of bowl. It should still be moist and slightly sticky when you turn off the mixer.
  • On a well-floured board, knead dough just until it stops trying to stick to your hands. Keep pulling in flour from the board edge to just dust the kneading space.
  • Drizzle mixer bowl with olive oil and use your hand to spread it around. Put the dough back in, and spin then flip and spin again to completely coat dough ball with oil. If it's not oiled, it won't rise properly!
  • Cover bowl with a thin, damp, towel. I use a spray bottle to mist it.
  • Let rise till doubled- when you poke your fingers in, the indent should stay and not spring back much at all. Punch down, and rise again.
  • Punch down a second time and cut in half. Using your knuckles, push a dough half into a rectangle the width of your loaf pan, and then roll tightly jelly-roll style. Pinch end to seal, and place seal-side down on the counter. Pull dough on ends to cover the edges, and seal on the bottom. Repeat with the other half of the dough, and put in loaf pans. Cover with damp towel again and let rise until it reaches the top of the pan. I like to set them next to the my oven vent and set the oven to preheat- the heat helps it rise quickly, and makes sure that my oven is good and hot when the bread gets in there.
  • Bake at 350 for 25 minutes- to test, tip a loaf out of its pan and tap the bottom. It should sound hollow.


  1. About the rising...the dough needs a warm MOIST environment to rise. Dough left on the counter will get a dry skin (strike one) and will be cold, with no tea towel and bowl to trap the heat of the growing yeast (strike 2).

  2. Oh, and looks yummy! :-D Eventually, I WILL get wheat, etc...we're just not going to store anything like that while we're moving all over the country. :-) We've got more of a...3 months supply, and most of that is in rice. :-) Hey, it's what we eat!

  3. I am impress that you grind your own wheat. My husband always ask me to do this, but I always say, hmmm ... maybe next time!
    The bread souns delicious!