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My Favorite Things - June 3, 2002

Someone asked me last week for a WHOLE WHEAT BREAD RECIPE. I cleaned my desk, and found this scribbled on a piece of scrap paper!

I tried it today and enjoyed it!

A customer said a funny thing a few weeks ago when she said,

"I just cannot stop this grain thing! Even if I have to grind my flour, I can still have 4 loaves in an hour and a half!"

When you have the right equipment, it’s amazing how quick it can be!

I’ve cut the recipe she used in half so depending on how large your loaf pan is, this makes enough dough for 2 - 3 loaves, depending on the size of your pan.
________________________________________________________

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD RECIPE –

This is made using Blendtec’s Kitchen Mill & Mix ’N Blend mixer!

If you use a different mill, please be aware that your flour may be coarser then the Blendtec’s flour therefore you may need to adjust your flour to liquid ratio to get the correct “texture” in your dough.

The finely ground flour of the Blendtec is very similar to store bought flour therefore I find it to be easier to incorporate into family “heirloom” recipes.

If you use a different mixer, you may need to make adjustments, as well. Not all mixers can handle whole wheat dough because it’s heavier. It can actually burn out the motor in the wrong machine, so use at your own risk.

1/4 c. oil (*The oils I use the most are butter, coconut oil and olive oil. I just feel they’re healthiest. If you choose to use another oil, such as safflower or sunflower, check to see if it’s expeller pressed so it’s not extracted with chemical solvents! Always measure your oil before the honey so the honey will slide right out of the measuring cup!)

1/4 c. honey

2 1/2 c. very warm water (*best if no chlorine - and not too hot or you’ll kill the yeast)

4 1/2 tsp. yeast (*I like my SAF best because it’s a "one-rise" yeast.) Remember, if your yeast is taken from freezer or fridge, must allow to come to room temp to get the best rise. Yeast is composed of picky little "critters" that don’t like to work when they’re cold!

2 c. flour (*freshly ground in a Blendtec Grain Mill, of course! ;o) Later on, you’ll add more flour, so this is only "part" of the flour required. The purpose of adding a small amount of flour first is to get all the leavening ingredients fully mixed together before the addition of more flour makes the dough so bulky. (You’ll see what I mean if you keep reading this recipe!)
I use Prairie Gold or Bronze Chief for my bread flour and sometimes I mix in a cup or two of the Wheat Montana Natural White flour just to make it a bit lighter and fluffier in texture.

Mix until blended well.

Add: 1 TB Dough Enhancer

4 1/2 tsp. Vital Gluten

1 1/2 tsp. Salt (* RealSalt!)

Turn your mixer on.

Add more flour, a scoop at a time, until the dough just begins to "clean" the sides of the bowl. If you add enough to clean the sides of the bowl entirely, that’s generally about a half a cup too much flour and you’ll tax the motor of the machine.

You don’t want the dough to be runny and sticky, but rather to be more of a "play dough" texture. Depending on which flour you use (*i.e. all Prairie Gold, Bronze Chief or a mixture of both), you’ll use approximately 6 ½ cups to 6 ¾ cups flour altogether.

The last time I made this recipe, I used 2 cups Natural White Flour, then about 4 ½ - 4 ¾ cups Prairie Gold flour, for a total flour input of 6 ¾, I think. Why am I vague, right?
Many things can affect the amount of flour needed on a particular day, such as the level of humidity in the air, whether you were exact in your water measurements, whether your honey has thickened or is thin, and which types and combinations of grains/flours you use.

Mix another 8-9 minutes if kneading by hand, (or if you have a Blendtec, follow directions for "auto-knead")

When the dough finishes mixing, you have several options.

I spray my loaf pan with an olive oil spray.

Sometimes I’ll let the dough "rest" 2 or 3 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut it into sections to make into loaves, cinnamon rolls, or whatever.
I often make either 1 loaf plain bread, a pan of rolls, and a long, rectangular pyrex dish of cinnamon rolls so we have a wide variety.

If I’m making cinnamon bread or rolls, then I remove the dough to a cookie sheet or large cutting board so I can "work" on it.

Folks have all sorts of ideas on how best to "prepare" a surface before putting dough on it. Some use special plastic mats, dusted with flour. Others use special plastic mats, oiled to prevent the dough from sticking. And still others may use a cookie sheet, or waxed paper, dusted with flour.

Whatever works for you - do that!

If I’m making a loaf of bread, I "roll" up the dough, pinching the edges together, and placing it (pinched side down) in a loaf pan that’s been sprayed with a tiny bit of olive oil spray. Place it in a warm place to rise, covered with a tea towel, maybe near the stove or oven. You want it to be "almost" the size you want it to be before placing it in the oven, but you don’t want it to be full size. As dough bakes, it RISES more in the oven.

If you let the dough rise all the way, it’ll rise EVEN MORE in that hot oven, so you’ll get a really funny shaped, tall loaf.

If you want cinnamon rolls, use a rolling pin and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. I spread a little butter or homemade margarine on it, sprinkle with either brown sugar or raw cane sugar, then cinnamon, and roll it up. Sometimes we add raisins, craisins and/or nuts.

Then slice the dough into 1/2 inch thick slices. Spray a glass pyrex dish with a non-stick spray, such as an olive oil one, and lay the dough "slices" flat.

Cover with a tea towel, and let rise until doubled in size before baking.

You can make an icing of -
* 1+ cup powdered sugar,
* 1 TB milk,
* ½ tsp. vanilla extract and
* 1 TB butter or homemade margarine, softened. I usually use a spatula to “spread” my icing over the tops of baked cinnamon rolls, but if you make it a tiny bit thinner, you can drizzle it over them, instead.

This makes 2 or 3 loaves, depending on the size of your pan, which you’d bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (*335 convection oven) If you make smaller loaves, they might bake in just 20 minutes!

THANKS ALWAYS TO MY READERS FOR SHARING WITH US!

*Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this recipe, however typos are always possible, and misunderstandings are, too! I will not be held responsible for any culinary flops! Thanks for understanding! ;o)

Bon Appetit’