I grew up watching my mom make homemade bread; she was amazing and made it totally by hand. I can still see her getting out her big metal mixing bowl and worn wooden spoon and then slowly mixing everything together. It looked like a lot of work, but it was always fun to watch. And I loved seeing her gentle hands artfully shape the dough into beautiful, rounded loaves. There was something almost magical about it!
But somewhere along the way she stopped making bread, and unfortunately I never learned the art. However, when we got married 7 years ago my husband mentioned that he loved homemade bread. And since I enjoy working in the kitchen and trying new things, I decided to attempt to make some. It’s always good to have a happy husband, right?
I’ll admit, it looked rather daunting and I was sure I’d have lots of flops before I actually had any loaves that were decent enough to eat. And there were definitely some batches that were, um, well a bit interesting. But trial and error soon had me producing beautiful, soft loaves and I discovered that bread making is really kind of fun and not all that hard to do once you get the hang of it!
I got this bread recipe from my sister-in-law several years ago after eating her homemade bread and being really impressed. Not only is it super simple, it also makes the most delicious bread. My previous recipe was okay but the bread tended to be a bit more dry than this one. And while I appreciate homemade 100% whole wheat bread, I really prefer it to be soft and more flexible like bought bread. This bread is more like that. Since I started making this bread I have eaten more bread than I ever have- it’s just that good! And I absolutely love my Rada bread knife. It does a better job of cutting soft bread than any other knife that I’ve used. I highly recommend it!
I was a bit hesitant to post my 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe since I use a Bosch Mixer and my recipe instructions are written for that. But a number of you were asking for it and really, it should be fairly easy to adapt the directions to make this bread in any mixer or to even knead it by hand, so here it is!
(If you are new to bread making you might enjoy this post about how to make bread, along with lots of tips.)
Oh and one more thing. I’ve discovered that the kind of bread pan that you use really makes a difference in how well your loaves bake. The pans that I use don’t seem to be available online, but I have heard really good things about these USA Aluminized Steel Bread Pans. They actually are almost the exact same size as the pans that I use and look and sound very similar.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
10 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
5 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup quick oats
2 Tbsp. lecithin (powdered)
2 Tbsp. dough enhancer or powdered wheat gluten
4 Tbsp. yeast
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup oil
extra whole wheat flour (I usually need to add about another cup)
This recipe is for a Bosch mixer, so the instructions are for that, however, you should easily be able to adapt it to other mixers or simply just knead it by hand.
1. Dissolve yeast in water and pour into mixer bowl.
2. Add all remaining ingredients to mixer bowl.
3. Mix on speed 1 for 5 minutes, then turn to speed 2 and add flour until dough pulls away from bowl. (For me, I’ve found that one extra cup usually is about the right amount.)*
4. Knead for 5 more minutes.
5. Shape loaves, place in well-greased bread pans and let rise until not quite doubled.
6. Bake at 340 degrees for 22-25 min.
* Bosch mixers only have 3 speeds, so speed 1 is low and speed 2 is high. If you use a Kitchen Aid or other mixer, hopefully that will help you know what to turn your mixer to.
YIELD: 5 larger loaves or 6 smaller loaves (I do 6 smaller)
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