Thursday, December 6, 2007
Growing up my mom made homemade bread. It's aroma filled the house and it was always so delicious, eating a nice hot piece with real butter. (Mmm, she made that too!)
For a wedding present my parents gave me a grain grinder and bread mixer. What wonderful gifts! I have used them so much over the years!
For a long time I would get Wheat Montana's Prairie Gold, it's a great wheat and grinds up so nicely. But my bread would come out flat. Loaves are supposed to be pretty and round on the top! I tried everything- I thought maybe they were getting bumped too hard when I would put them in the oven, because they looked pretty good before baking, but no matter how careful I was, they were still flat. Anyway, my mom finally gave me the answer- for bread to rise perfectly it needs enough gluten and Prairie Gold is a softer wheat, it is a hard white wheat, so it has less gluten in it. So I bought some Bronze Chief, which is a hard red wheat. I'm not sure what the difference is, though when I grind it the flour has a more coarse texture- almost a little sandy feeling. But the bread is perfect now! Look how lovely they came out! I am so happy with it.
Mom's Whole Wheat Bread
4 c. warm water
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
2 TB. yeast
Mix and let set for 10 min.
1 TB salt
10 - 14 c. wheat flour
As the mixer is going add the flour one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer. Let it knead (mix) for 10 minutes. Pour some oil on the counter where you plan to shape the loaves. White flour bread can have flour on the counter, but when you use whole wheat you really need to have it oiled so it doesn't stick to the counter.
Separate into 4 even pieces. Flatten each piece, (one at a time) so it's about 12"x 6". Roll up. Tuck ends under and place in greased loaf pan so that no edges of the dough are visible- they are all tucked under, so it looks nice and smooth.
Let rise in warm place approximately 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
In the winter time when our house is cooler, I warm the oven to it's lowest temp (mine is 170 degrees) then turn it off and set the bread in it to rise with the door ajar.
This bread is best in the first few days, if you need to keep it longer, put it in the fridge, if you won't eat 4 loaves you can freeze some for later use.