Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sharing Our Whole Grain Homemade Bread Recipe - Update

Well, that will teach me to jump the gun! I posted this original recipe back in May right after I started making our own bread. I posted too soon. It was yummy but dense, very dense. I just thought that the "fluffy bread" my boys kept asking for would have to be sacrificed on the altar of "homemade and 100% whole grain." But I didn't give up. I continued to research and tweak the recipe and you know what? Homemade, whole grain and fluffy can happen! :)

I started learning about dough enhancers, ingredients that improve the texture and taste of your bread. You can buy these pre-made but I wanted to create a recipe with ingredients I could purchase at my local grocery store. First I added ginger to my recipe after learning that yeast love, love, love the stuff. The ginger alone, even in its tiny amount, helped my bread rise higher. Next I found several recipes that called for much higher amounts of gluten. This helped too. Then I found Darcy's recipe for her boys' bread. It included vinegar and I remembered reading that vinegar would help activate the yeast and boy did it! My bread now rises high out of the pan and is that fluffy texture the boys were asking for.

Now one thing I have learned is that just because this recipe works for me, with my bread maker and in my climate it doesn't mean it will work for you. I have tried recipes from other blogs that are the "perfect" recipe but they don't work at all in my machine and in Houston's humidity. Be ready to tweak your recipe until you get it just like you like it!

100% Whole Grain Bread Machine Bread

1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp canola oil
4 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup gluten
1 Tbsp yeast

Put everything into the bread machine in the order given. Chose the "Whole Wheat" setting and start. This recipe makes a 2 lb loaf. At first, I was putting all the ingredients in at night before bed and using the delay cycle in order to have fresh bread each morning. I started getting worried about milk and eggs sitting in the bread maker for several hours though. Also, now that I am using vinegar, I don't want the vinegar to have time to sour the milk. Now, I usually throw the ingredients in right before breakfast so that we have fresh bread for our sandwiches at lunch or right before lunch so we can have a fresh loaf to go with dinner. For breakfast we usually toast it anyway, so day-old bread works just as well.

A few tips:
  • never let the salt touch the yeast. It can prematurely activate it.
  • when you measure the oil, use the same spoon for the honey and molasses and they will slide right out!
  • I make my own oat flour by processing old fashioned oats in the food processor. It's much cheaper than buying oat flour.
Enjoy. I know we have! :)



Twinlinebackers said...

Thank you thank you for sharing. I will be trying this tomorrow! My kids eat my bread but hubby still buys bread for that light fluffy texture even WW store bought bread achieves. Hopefully your bread is the answer!

Twinlinebackers said...

It was awesome. Thanks for sharing the info about the various ingredients - like about ginger. My husband raved about it and he is SO picky.

Jeni Q said...

Thanks for posting. I'm excited to give this a try. I was hoping to get away w/o the extra ingredients as dough conditioners, but it seems like if we want to be committed to the cost-savings and nutritional benefits of homemade bread, we'll have to step it up a notch.

One note - I'm pretty sure that the salt will kill the yeast, not prematurely activate it.