Recipe: Laura’s No-fail Whole Wheat Bread

I adapted this recipe from the King Arthur Flour bag. It really is incredibly simple: you just mix up the dry ingredients, mix up the wet ingredients, and then stir and knead them together.

Don’t get intimidated by “how long” baking your own bread takes. Most of the time is hands-off rising time, so what bread really requires is forethought!

No Fail Whole Wheat Bread

6 c whole wheat flour
1 c AP flour
3/4 c flax seed meal
2 TB vital wheat gluten
2-3 TB millet seed
5 tsp instant yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c honey (maple syrup is ok too)
2 2/3 c luke warm water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl (I use my Pyrex 2-cup measuring pitcher), mix the wet ingredients.

Combine the wet to the dry. Stir, then knead. Five minutes if you have a machine with a dough hook; 10 if you are old school and hands-on like me.

The dough should be smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky. Try not to add anymore flour; bread dough gets too dry very quickly.

Spray the ball of kneaded dough and the kneading bowl with oil. Cover with plastic wrap (I actually use a dedicated tea towel) and let rise in a warm spot. It should double in size.

Knead the risen dough a couple of times to deflate it a bit, then divide into two equal pieces. Shape into oblongs and place into oiled bread pans. Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Depending on how long it takes your oven to preheat, this is a good time to turn it on!

Slash the risen loaves two or three times across the top (this keeps the loaves from getting over-inflated in the oven).

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a nice toasty brown and hollow-sounding when you thunk them with your open hand.

Additional Notes
I routinely change up the types of flour/grains in this recipe. If you use less glutenous flours or grains, you will need to either increase the amount of white flour or the vital wheat gluten.

A nice 12-grain mixture is: 3 cups ww flour, 1 cup uncooked 12-grain cereal mix, 1/3 c polenta, 1/3 c millet, 1/3 c flax seed meal, 2 cups white flour, 3 TB vital wheat gluten.

You don’t have to use vital wheat gluten, but if you don’t, more of your flour mixture will need to be white flour.

Bread-baking is more art than science and you need to follow your heart. With practice, you will know what makes a good loaf in your kitchen, in your oven, with your flours.

Use fresh ingredients; they taste better and work better.

 

 

 

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