When you buy whole wheat, whole grain, or even 9 grain bread, you believe that is what you are eating, right? Well guess what…..the majority of breads sold in grocery stores and served in restaurants are actually white bread with less than 2% whole wheat flour. It is astonishing to find out that they allowed to market it as whole wheat bread, when the main ingredient is white flour? Even Subway’s 9 grain wheat bread is primarily made of white flour, with less than 2% making up the other 8 grains. I don’t know about you, but I have found that reading the labels on my food is becoming more and more important.
So, in our quest to know what ingredients we are consuming, we knew we had to come up with a homemade bread recipe that included 100% whole wheat flour and of course, no preservatives.
For those of you that have tried to bake with wheat flour, you will know that you definitely get a denser consistency as compared to white flour. To put it simply, this is because wheat flour is made from the entire wheat seed rather than just the center, like white flour. Using the entire seed allows for extra nutrients and fiber to be included in wheat flour. This recipe is the best light and fluffy homemade wheat bread that I have found. It is absolutely delicious, contains no preservatives,and best of all, you know what you are eating.
100% Whole Grain, Whole Wheat Bread
2 3/4 cups hot water
4 tablespoon of oil (I use Canola oil)
2 1/2 tablespoons of Agave Nectar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt (I use Kosher salt)
7 cups (max) 100% whole grain wheat flour, divided
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1. Place the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add 2 cups of whole grain wheat flour. Mix, then add dry active yeast. Add 4 cups flour, and mix until the consistency is somewhat even.
2. Continue to slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough quits sticking to the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky to the touch. The trick is to have enough consistency to stand up with the least amount of flour, so the bread will be fluffy. Do not exceed 7 cups of wheat flour. I use 6 cups.
3. When your dough is finished, cover the bowl and let it rise for about 40 minutes. The dough will be larger, but it doesn’t need to double when using a heavy mixer. Grease two bread pans with nonstick spray. You can also flour the pans to reduce sticking. Mix the dough again just enough to knock it down at least close to the original size. Drop the dough on a floured surface so you can work and shape it.
4. Roll the dough in the flour and shape it in your hands to make a nice ball, getting enough flour on it so it isn’t sticky. Divide the ball in 1/2 and do it again. Shape the loaves by turning the dough under itself over and over. When the dough is shaped right, the sides and ends will be sealed and all you will see is a nice oblong shaped loaf with smooth sides and top.
5. Place the loaves in your bread pans and let them rise until almost doubled (approximately 40 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 degrees while your dough rises.
6. Bake both loaves for 36 minutes. Remove from loaf pans and place on cooling racks. Completely cool before storing by wrapping it in aluminum foil. ****Do not store in refrigerator, unless you need another brick somewhere****
Mary and Jim
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