Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread! YUMMO!

It's been so cold these past two days, went down to 7 degrees the other night! I really enjoy the cold weather, when it's WINTER, and I really enjoy the hot weather when it's SUMMER....just wish we had some snow.

I went food shopping today, and there were great sales, saved so much in coupons, and planning out the sales, with my coupons.  I got everything I needed, and spent half what I usually spend!  I needed to buy bread, we always eat Whole Wheat Bread, it can't be the store brand, it has to be a name brand Whole Wheat Bread, yes I am picky!  But today I passed up the Whole Wheat Bread, and decided to make homemade instead. 

Now I make homemade bread often, when making soups, and want bread to go with the soup, but really hardly ever for sandwiches, and that means for my little boys sandwiches.  So I made the bread, as I always do, and it came out terrific, and so easy to slice for a nice peanut butter and jelly or Nutella sandwich for Davey.  This Whole Wheat Bread is so easy, and as I have said before, if you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, better yet!  Once you get the handle on bread making with your Kitchen Aid Mixer, or even by hand, and with my helpful tips, you will want to try making different homemade breads. It's so easy, so rewarding I think, and so SIMPLE!  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bread

In a bowl add 1 1/2 cups warm (not HOT, but warm to your wrist) water
Add 2 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 TBS Sugar
Mix all this with a fork, and let sit for 5 minutes until all foamy.....HINT, if this does not get a little foamy, your yeast is dead, buy new yeast and do it again!

This is what the yeast should look like after a couple of minutes!

 In a separate bowl, I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl, add the following:
4 Cups Whole Wheat Bread
1 egg
1/4 cup oil (I use Canola)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 TBS Vital Wheat Gluten (you need this to make Whole Wheat Bread, now don't let this strange powder scare you, it is easily found in the baking isle, by the specialty bread mixes)
A must for the perfect Whole Wheat Bread!!

When the yeast is all foamy this means it's "proofed", now add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and turn on the mixer on low, using the dough hook, knead the bread.  This will take a couple of minutes.  Now look into the bowl, what is happening, you may have to scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber scraper, turn the mixer back on low, what does the dough look like....if it looks like a cake batter, you need to add a bit more flour, like 1/4 cup, or if the dough looks dry, you may have to add a little more water, 1 tsp at a time... turn the mixer back on and the dough should be forming a ball around the dough hook, and won't be too sticky, but sticky, at this point I like to flour my hands, I don't know something about sticky dough. These are the steps to making bread in your Kitchen Aid Mixer, the dough hook does all the kneading for you, so easy! 

Dough pulled away from sides of bowl, and forming a ball around dough hook!
Now if you don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer, you may do this all by hand, the same way!

When it is all kneaded spray a large bowl with cooking spray, add the dough to the bowl, and turn over coating both sides. Cover with foil, let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.  I usually turn the oven on to 350 for like 2 minutes and shut it off, and then put the bowl of dough in the oven to rise.

Remember to shut the oven off, you don't want to bake your dough's not READY, and don't let the oven get TOO HOT, you don't want to kill the yeast, that's why I say 2 minutes!!!!

Dough doubled in size all risen

When the dough is all risen, and doubled in size, punch down the dough getting rid of all the air bubbles, spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, shape the dough easily into a football looking form, and put in loaf pan.  Cover lightly with a piece of greased wax paper, or foil, I mean just lay the foil over, do not wrap....and let rise again for the second rise in the oven, again turn on the oven on to 350 for 2 minutes, shut off, and put the loaf pan in the oven and let rise for 20 minutes or so until the loaf has risen nice and high.  Again, do not let the oven get too hot, it's not ready to be baked yet.....2 minutes!!!!
Dough rising in pans....nice and high and ready for the oven!
Now we are ready to BAKE, turn the oven on 350 and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on.  Cool on a rack, and enjoy with BUTTER or make a P&J sandwich for your little boy or girl! Remember use a serrated knife to slice the bread, slice back and forth, that's the way to do it!  Enjoy!