Wednesday, December 1, 2010

100% Whole Wheat Bread

This simple recipe makes 2 loaves of crusty, delicious homemade wheat bread!

1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
2 and 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. molasses
2 tsp. salt
6 cups 100% whole wheat flour
Butter for greasing


Begin by making the “sponge.” In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Next, stir in the oil, the honey, the molasses, and the salt. Gradually stir in about 2 and 1/2 cups of the flour. The dough will be wet and soupy, but a bit spongy. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the sponge ferment for 1 hour.

Next, stir down the sponge, breaking all the bubbles up with a wooden spoon. Using an electric mixer, beat the sponge for 10 minutes, gradually adding about 3 more cups of the flour. The dough should become very thick and tacky, and it should begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be heavier than regular white-floured doughs. Knead for at least 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed to prevent stickiness. It should feel smooth and elastic.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the kneaded dough into the bowl, turning it to coat the dough on all sides with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for at least 1 and 1/2 hours in a warm, draft-free place. The dough will double in size.

Meanwhile, grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans with butter or non-stick cooking spray. When the dough has risen, punch it down gently. Divide the dough in half and shape each into loaves. Place them into the prepared pans. Cover each pan with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise again for about 45 minutes, until it has doubled in bulk.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Bake the loaves for 40 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, rub a small pat of butter over the tops of the loaves. Transfer to wire racks to cool. When the loaves have cooled completely, slice them up and enjoy!

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