We've made a lot of whole wheat bread on this blog in the last 3.5 years. We've made quick wheat bread, half whole wheat bread, oatmeal wheat bread, oatmeal whole wheat quick bread, whole wheat french bread, whole wheat bread (the big daddy version in a mixer), another whole wheat bread made in a mixer, whole wheat bread by hand, and whole wheat bread in a bread machine. And that's just the whole wheat bread, we have loads of other recipes for white flour bread.
So why another one? Not every family is going to like the same bread recipe, the more options we have, the better. This recipe is the King Arthur Life Skills Bread Baking program recipe and I'm quite fond of it.
Some of the reasons I love this recipe:
- simple ingredient list--after making it a few times, you will have the recipe memorized
- 1/3 ratio of whole wheat to all purpose flour making it a great choice for introducing wheat bread to your family, or compromising how much wheat bread your family eats--I love hearty whole wheat bread but my kids prefer white bread, this is our compromise. Plus it works really well as sandwich bread for lunches
- this recipe is made by hand, no heavy duty mixer required--sometimes it's nice to not have to clean the mixer
- Umm, it's delicious!
The original recipe says to add the 2 cups of whole wheat flour at this step. Since I usually use the whole wheat flour in my freezer, I add 2 cups of all purpose flour at this step instead. I don't want my cold wheat flour to interfere with the yeast. If you had just ground wheat flour, or you were using store bought wheat flour that was at room temperature, you could put the whole wheat flour in at this step.
Now add another cup or so of all purpose flour. Be careful! You don't want to add too much. It depends on the humidity in the air, but for this batch I only added 1 cup of all purpose flour, stirring with a wooden spoon.
As you are kneading the dough, you will want to add flour so it doesn't stick to your hands. Use your fingers to sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Just a little at a time. If you add too much flour, your bread will be dense and heavy, we want light and fluffy.
Keep kneading until you have a smooth ball. Let it rest on the counter for about five minutes. Then knead a little bit more, adding a dusting of flour as necessary.
Dump it out on your counter top---I leave mine floury (no cleaning between). The dough should be light and soft.
Separate the dough into two sections using a serrated knife, and shape into two loaves.
Cover with the plastic wrap and the towel, and leave on your counter for another 30 minutes.
All ready to bake!
Look at how beautiful the bread crust is! Let the bread cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.
King Arthur Life Skills Bread
original recipe here
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
Mix together and let sit for ten minutes.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon salt
Mix, then add:
up to 4 cups of all purpose flour. Depending on how much the dough needs--which could vary from day to day.
When it gets too hard to stir with the spoon, dump out onto a lightly flour surface and knead. Add dusting of flour as necessary. Knead into a smooth ball. Let rest for five minutes. Knead for a few minutes more, then place back into the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel, let rise for 1.5 hours.
Deflate dough gently and turn out onto the counter top. Gently separate into two sections using a serrated knife. Shape into two loaves and place into greased bread pans. Let rise 30 minutes covered, then bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.