Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How To...Make Whole Wheat Bread by hand

Since we're collecting wheat this month as part of our long-term storage, we've decided to dedicate a couple of days to the making of whole wheat bread. Today we are making whole wheat bread by hand--no machine necessary!

The ingredients: Yeast, water, salt, honey or sugar, whole wheat flour, oil

Start off by dissolving the yeast into warm water

Then add some sugar or honey

and salt (or is this the sugar?)

and a few cups of the whole wheat flour. Freshly ground is best because it's warm and...fresh---but you can use store bought or flour that's been storing in your freezer.

Mix it together with a spoon until it's all combined, then cover with a warm damp towel

Let rise for an hour in a warm place

Add some hot water to this dough

and oil

and more sugar (not salt) or honey

And finally a couple more cups of whole wheat flour

Mix it as much as you can with your wooden spoon

And then turn it out onto your floured counter top to knead. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Set the timer because what feels like ten minutes, will probably only be two.

Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl (keep it dirty for crying out loud!) and cover. Let it rise for another hour.

While you're waiting, grease two loaf pans with shortening

Punch the dough down, when it's done rising, and shape into two loaves.

You can check out how I shape my bread loaves here.

Put into a greased loaf pan, and let rise again for another hour. You need all these risings (3 total) to develop the gluten in the wheat. With a mixer, the gluten is developed by the...well, mixing. But you couldn't possibly mix enough by hand to develop the gluten totally, which is why when you make bread by hand, it will almost always need to raise multiple times.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes

Until golden brown

Brush the tops with shortening if you like a soft crust or if you like shortening (all who agree say "Aye!")

Whole Wheat Bread--made by hand

recipe by Jeri Shelton

1 Tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
4 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup hot water
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp honey (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
2 cups whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Add salt, honey and four cups of flour to yeast mixture. Mix together until smooth (will be a very thick batter). Cover with a warm moist towel. Let rise until light and bubbly--about one hour.

To this mixture add the hot water, oil and remaining honey and flour. Mix thoroughly--gradually add more flour (1 to 2 more cups) until dough becomes manageable to knead on counter. Dough should be soft and tacky (not sticky and not stiff or dry). When it reaches this point, knead for 10 minutes.

Put dough back into bowl and cover. Let rise another hour until double in size. Punch down and form into loaves. Put into greased loaf pans and let rise until doubled. Back at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans and brush tops with shortening for soft crust. Eat. Groan with pleasure.


Krystal said...

What does it mean when I make the dough, let it rise, and it falls in the oven? It just flattens. Did I let it rise too long or is it some other problem? I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the neat recipe. I can't wait to try it.

Unknown said...

Awesome! Now I just need some canned wheat and a grinder!
Could you do a "Consumer Report" on electric and hand grinders sometime? Or have a guest poster for that topic? Thanks so much for all your great work!

Jaye said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. It made breadmaking seem easy and so I tried it and IT WORKED! Thank you again for teaching the things you know to others. I greatly appreciate it.

Alveybunch said...

Thanks for this great recipe. I actually made my own wheat bread and it turned out great. This site is wonderful. Thanks for all your effort!

Unknown said...

I finally got around to making it. Don't have wheat to grind yet, so it was store-bought flour, but it turned out pretty well. And I've never made bread before! Thank you for all your help!!

Unknown said...

have tried the recipe..how come my dough did not rise?is there problem with the kneading or what?

Abs said...

There are a couple things you can try. First, make sure your yeast isn't too old by testing that it bubbles in warm water. Second, if you are at a high altitude you may need to add more yeast. And finally, you have to be sure and knead it for the time specified. If you don't give it all the kneading and rising times, the bread won't turn out.

Hope that helps, let me know if I can help you with anything else!

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for taking time to answer my problem..will try again!

Cupcake Mama said...

I just baked this today...delicious!!! Thank you.