Nothing Like Fresh Bread

I love to cook. Anyone close to me has no doubt about it. Expanding my cooking abilities is always something I love to do ( and doing make up but that will be for another post :))

One thing I have recently learned and mastered to do is make wheat bread. Having a Kitchen Aid mixer makes it so much easier but if you don’t make sure you have good hands and wrist it will take a while to knead it properly.

This is what I do and I will link the recipe I used to give them proper credit.

I got my base recipe from here : http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-167267

Tools Needed: Kitchen Aid w/ a dough hook attachment ( or your hands and a hand mixer) 2 Bread Pans, 2- 2 cup measuring Cups, cutting board or counter top to knead the bread, Pam or butter to grease the pans, Large Mixing Bowl

I use:

2 3/4 cups of White Unbleached Flour ( I have used the Shoprite Brand, Pillsbury and BJs no difference just what comes out of of your wallet)

2 3/4 cups of Whole Wheat Flour ( Shoprite brand mainly it is about $2 cheaper than other wheat flours)

4 tablespoons of Vital Gluten ( which is necessary for Wheat Breads since there is less gluten in Wheat.)

1 Packet of Red Star Quick Rise Yeast or 2 teaspoons from the jar

1 Cup of Warm Water

1 Cup of Milk

1/3 Cup of Honey

2 Tablespoons of Canola Oil ( or any flavorless oil) 

1 tablespoon of  White Granulated Sugar ( sometimes I do 2)

1 tablespoon of Salt 

With the kitchen Aid mixer I use the dough hook I add the salt, Vital Gluten and flours. I let the dough hook spin a few times to get it mixed. * Note put this on low if you go to high you will have it all over your kitchen flour isn’t fun to clean up.*

In a 2 Cup Measuring cup add the warm water and sugar together. The sugar will not dissolve necessarily but will sweeten the water for the yeast. Add the yeast and mix a little so it gets wet with a wooden or plastic spoon. ( It is best to avoid using metal so it doesn’t disturb the yeast.

Take the milk and heat it for a 1 minute in the microwave, not to make it hot but warm it up. And after that add the honey to it and mix together.

In about 5 minutes you will see that the yeast is coming alive and foaming a bit ( not all of it has too ) but it should look alive other wise you may have a dud batch. Once you checked it add the 2 tablespoons of oil in the yeast, water and sugar.

Add the milk and honey and the yeast mix to the flour mixture and put on low ( number 2) for a few minutes until combined. This may require you to stop it and scrap the sides and continue. If it doesn’t all combine with what you have added tablespoon by table spoon add a water until mixed fully into a dough ball.

The dough may be a little sticky but that is ok. Put in a mixing bowl that is about 3 times the size of the dough ball to give it room to grow. I like to put it in my microwave so nothing bothers it. I leave it for an hour. I look at it and then punch it down and roll it a little bit and let it rise again for like 1/2 an hr. I think that makes it less dense and fluffy.

Once it rises again take it out and separate into two balls. Take one of it them and knead it on a floured surface    for about 5 minutes or so and form into the pan size ( Should be a 8.5″ x 4 x4 or so pan) that has been greased with butter or Pam. Repeat for the second one

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Let them rise again in the pan for at least an hour. If it doesn’t look big enough leave a little longer.

Once they have risen enough put them in the oven at 375 degrees.

Let them cook for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown all around and you can turn it over from the pan and knock on it and it sound hollow. And they don’t have to look perfect..

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Take them out of the pans onto a cooling rack and wait at least and hour before attacking… er…. I mean sliced and slather butter and drink your coffee…. or whatever you like … and think about the simple life that didnt include cell phones, computers or tv and bask in the moment until your kids or husband smell it and ask for a piece ….

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Enjoy!

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