my mama has always made the best whole wheat bread in the world. we always begged to cut into a loaf within seconds of her pulling it out of the oven, piping hot. it's amazing warm with a ton of butter melted in. i learned to make it years ago, following her recipe exactly, and even though it's a lot of work, (baking bread is always a lot of work,) i love to make bread. but this year (last year, actually) we didn't make bread, except perhaps two or three times, because of how busy and "new" our lives were. We moved, mom was sick and on bed rest, and then everything with Lydia. But everything is calming down this January, and today I woke up hungry for Mama's bread made into toast. (the hands-down-best-way to enjoy this bread. it's a spectacular experience. ;) So At nine o'clock this morning I "whipped up a batch of bread." and i decided to snap a couple of photographs and type up the recipe so that you can fall in love with making bread as well. :)
Mama's Whole Wheat Bread
makes 4 large loaves
preheat oven 350
12 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbs. lecithin
2 tbs. yeast
4 tbs. gluten flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vitamin c powder
4 cups hot water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
dump all dry ingredients into mixer, and quickly combine. Add hot water. (It needs to be quite warm, but not boiling hot by any means. Too hot and it will kill the yeast, although if it's too cold the yeast won't rise, so make it as hot as your tap water gets. :) Then add oil and honey. Mix for a long time, five or so minuets. This cuts down on the kneading by hand time, (and saves your arms.) Whilst it is mixing, grab your biggest bowl and grease it really well, and make sure you have a large towel and plastic wrap handy.
Dump dough out of mixing bowl onto counter and knead until in a nice round, smooth ball. Then place in greased bowl, smooth side down first to grease the top, and then turn it over, and put plastic wrap tight across the top of bowl. (This keeps the dough from getting dried out on top.) and cover the bowl with a large towel, and place it in a warm place. (We often put it on top or beside the wood stove.) Leave for half and hour to double in size.
Dump dough back onto counter and divide into four equal pieces. Knead each piece until it is in a smooth oval, and pinch in ends and place in greased bread pan to rise for another half of an hour. (covered again with plastic wrap and towel.)
Carefully place pans in preheated oven, (try not to bang them down on the racks or bang the door shut, because that will make them fall, and result in flat dense loaves. :) Bake for 30 minutes, or until quite golden brown. (Make it a tiny darker than golden to ensure that it is no longer doughy.
and just a bit of information about the Vitamin C powder. I had to ask mom what is was for this morning because I was thinking about this post, and realized i had no idea what it was for. I asked her if it was necessary to the bread, or just a sneaky way to get more vitamin C down us. :) It turns out that vitamin C works with the yeast to make a taller loaf without holes. So it probably is optional, (if you don't have it, or have a way to get it.) but it will make your bread much better.
Everyone tends to believe that baking bread is super hard, but I beg to differ. Sure, there are some recipes that you should avoid at first, because they're a bit more complicated and might discourage you, but in general bread is easy and super fun. My favorite way to bake bread is in large round loaves with a couple slashes in top for a fun sophisticated look. (obviously I don't do that with the above recipe.)
do you bake bread, and if so, what is your favorite kind to make?