Sunday, February 15, 2009

Basic Whole Wheat Bread

Here is the recipe Becky demonstrated for us at enrichment on Thursday night. This bread is fantastic. I haven't been able to get my family to eat whole wheat bread, so I've settled for half wheat and half white flour in the past. This bread turns out even softer than my bread and it's WHOLE WHEAT!!

6 cups warm water
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
8 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour (additional flour needed later)
2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 Tbsp dough enhancer
2-3 Tbsp SAF Instant Yeast
4-8 Additional cups freshly milled whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp liquid Lecithin (optional)

In the Bosch mixing bowl, combine hot water (110-120 degrees) and the 8 cups flour. Mix until blended. Add oil honey, and lecithin (opt). "Jog" off and on using the "M" side of the switch. Next add Vital Wheat Gluten, dough enhancer and SAF instant yeast and salt. Mix on first speed until smooth. The amount of flour you add will depend on the moisture and protein levels in your wheat. Turn your mixer to speed 2, and mix from 8-10 cups more, one cup at a time. Test to see if the dough is sticky and is beginning to clean the bowl. Once your mixer runs for several minutes and the gluten in your wheat starts to develop, the dough that was sticking to the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl will completely clean off. Knead 8-10 minutes. With shortening on your hands, form dough into 5-6 loaves, then place in pans. When the loaves are fully risen, you should be able to put a small dent in the side of one of the loaves with your finger and the dent will not come back out, or it will come back very slowly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

For those who are struggling with their whole what bread, we suggest you use the "sponge" method until you feel comfortable about the quality of your bread. First, add the water, then the oil, honey and lecithin. Don't mix. Then add 8 cups wheat flour. Don't mix. On top of the flour, add the dough enhancer, gluten and yeast. At this point, do not add salt. (salt controls yeast, without salt the sponge will rise quickly). "Jog" in mixture using the "M" switch, quickly turning it off and on to the left. This will mix your ingredients so that the flour will mix with the water and nothing will whip out of the sponging. This process allows the wheat bran to absorb the moisture, thus making the dough "dryer." It also improves the texture. Sponging gives you a little advantage in terms of the flour to water ratio, because the dough is dryer, you add less flour, hence the bread is lighter. Next, on speed one, add the salt and the rest of the flour as described above. Once you know how much flour you need, you may add everything all at once, including all of the flour, set the time for 10 minutes on speed 2 and you are finished!

**After it comes out of the oven mist the bread with water so that you get a nice, soft crust**

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