Bread making is funny. It really takes very little hands-on time. However, I do need to plan carefully to be on hand after each rise and allow enough time to bake the loaves. My kids have always loved homemade bread - but not for sandwiches....until this bread! I have discovered two tricks: 100% White Whole Wheat Flour and Vital Wheat Gluten. White whole wheat is made from hard white spring wheat rather than the more traditional red wheat. White whole wheat is not only lighter in color, it's also lighter in flavor, but still has all the wonderful nutritional value that "regular" wheat flour has. Vital Wheat Gluten helps all wheat flour breads with creating a lighter rise and a better crumb. Very little is added, but it does help this bread feel more like "sandwich bread" to my kids. The final thing I have to ensure my kids will use this for sandwiches is a thin cut. I can achieve this by waiting for the loaves to fully cool...which is not an easy task! We usually want to dive right into freshly baked bread. I have to patrol the kitchen to make certain nobody attacks it until it's completely cooled. I guess I will need to supplement with homemade rolls from time to time that they can snatch off the cooling rack while they are still hot so I don't deprive my family too much!
|Water, Yeast and flour after a 10 minute rest.|
|Ready for the oven|
|Fresh out of the oven. The smell is soooo delicious!|
|Sliced and ready for sandwiches.|
9 Grain Whole Wheat Bread
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet)
2 2/3 Cups Warm Water
4 1/2 cups - 5 1/2 cups Whole Wheat White Flour
1 Cup Cracked 9 grain Cereal Mix (I buy in the organic section) Can also use Oats
3 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Honey
2 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Butter (optional) for rubbing on top of bread when it comes out of the oven.
- Place water, yeast and 1 cup of flour in large bowl.
- Mix lightly.
- Let rest 10 minutes until yeast in bubbly and foamy.
- Add 1 additional cup of flour, salt, oil, honey, and vital wheat gluten and 9 grain cereal mix.
- When fully incorporated add 1 cup of a flour at a time until a nice dough is formed. You might not use all the flour.
- Knead: If using a stand mixer, knead for 5 minutes. 10 min. if kneading by hand.
- Transfer to a clean, greased bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray to avoid sticking to the dough.
- Let rest until doubled; approx. 1 1/2 hours.
- Gently punch down to deflate the dough.
- Divide into two equal parts.
- Shape loaves and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let rise until just an inch above the pan, approx. 30-40 min.
- Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 35-40 min.
- After removing from the oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes before removing from pans.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack then enjoy!
Note: Rolled Oats can be substituted for the 9 grain. I have also made this using all wheat flour. Just substitute the 9 grain for white whole wheat flour.
Source: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe