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My Favorite Whole Wheat Bread Recipe! (With Good-to-Know Tips)

best bread recipe ever

melt in your mouth bread

Pinterest tested! I’ve got to share this yummy (and healthy!) homemade whole wheat bread recipe. I tried it for the first time last week, and I’m hooked. We ate up a whole loaf within an hour after making it because it’s so good right hot out of the oven, especially with honey and butter (that was Grandma’s idea). I haven’t been one to make bread from scratch, but right after I made this, I pretty much vowed to make a batch at least once a week from now on. Things just feel so much more cozy and home-like with homemade bread, ya know? As my mom put it the other day, there’s nothing that says ‘I love you’ like some fresh homemade bread. Well, I hope I can stay motivated to keep making homemade bread regularly because this time it was so worth it.

Also, I really like this recipe because it stays soft several days after you bake it.  Just pop a slice in the microwave for 15 seconds, & bada-bing! Melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

I was happy when this recipe turned out to be a winner because it doesn’t call for eggs. (I’m thinking along the lines of food storage here, since eggs may not always be available).

So here’s the recipe! (originally from here)

Deliciously Nutritious Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used red instead of white)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
4 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
 
2 1/2 cups very warm water
 
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used Canola)
1/3 cup honey
4 teaspoons lemon juice (you can also use vinegar)
 
2 – 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I usually do 2 1/4)

Good-to-Know Tips:

  • Do you have to use lemons in whole wheat bread? No,  but it makes it better because lemons are a natural dough enhancer. But I’ve made it before without and it’s been fine.
  • Don’t omit the salt! It will not only change the taste, but it will also affect the whole chemistry of the recipe because the salt interacts with the yeast.
  • Not that it’s the end of the world, but did you know that oxidation decreases nutritional content? As soon as you grind wheat kernels into flour, the germ (healthiest part of the wheat) begins to oxidize. Putting it into bread dough decreases the rate of oxidation. So in other words, the less time wheat spends as flour, the better. That’s why it’s better to grind your own wheat rather than buying it already ground at the store. Cooking at too high of an oven temperature can also affect the nutritional content of wheat. 
  • If you’re not going to be able to use it right away, freezing your wheat flour will help it stay fresher for longer.
  • Freezing your yeast also is a good idea to increase the shelf-life. 
  • I used red wheat. But many people prefer the taste of white wheat. What’s the difference? Well, white wheat is a genetically modified version of red wheat. It has more gluten and a slightly less bitter taste–the color & taste is a lot more similar to that of white flour. Red wheat has slightly more protein, but I think they are both pretty similar in terms of nutritional content.[Update – So I recently tried out this recipe with white wheat and it turned out a lot lighter and fluffier. More like white bread, almost. Alex even labeled it “give-away-able” bread. Score! ]
  • Did you know that you can use applesauce in the place of oil to make it even healthier? I haven’t tried it with this specific recipe, but my grandma does it all the time when making whole wheat bread and it comes out great. [OK Update – I just tried it out. I added half the oil and half the honey, and then substituted in some applesauce. It turned out great! It was really moist- even more so than the regular recipe- and it stayed that way for days. One thing to keep in mind is that this makes it a little more dense and heavy (I ended up having to add in quite a bit more flour than usual). Alex loved it.
  • Using fresh lemon juice is better than buying lemon juice in the bottle because the latter have artificial preservatives added in.
  • DO NOT add more flour than needed. Doing so will make it very heavy rather than light and fluffy like you want. (Don’t worry if it is still a little sticky–just so long as you can handle it with oiled hands without it being unmanageably sticky. It should wipe the sides of the mixer clean -or somewhat clean- and should clump together in a ball).
  • If you’re not sure if it’s done, you can stick a meat thermometer in through the middle (up from the bottom). If it’s about 190 degrees, it’s done. 
Directions for How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Bread:
1. Mix together first three ingredients (flour, gluten, yeast).
 2. Add water and mix for 1 minute. Cover bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Add salt, oil, honey, and lemon juice. Beat for 1 minute.
4. Heat oven to 120 degrees. Grease 2 nonstick full size bread pans, or 3 smaller bread pans (I prefer the latter).
5. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Knead in mixer for 7-10 to minutes or until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and feels smooth rather than sticky. 
6. Rub a little oil on your hands and evenly divide into two loaves (or three smaller ones) and place into bread pans. Spank it down really hard to get out all the air bubbles before letting it rise.
7. Place pans in warm oven and allow to rise for 20 to 40 minutes, (I always do the full 40) or until dough has about doubled in size and rise to the tops of the pans.
8. Without removing pans from the oven, turn on oven to 325°F and set timer for 30 minutes. (Of course, oven times may vary. In my oven, I’ve found that 32 minutes is perfect). Once baked, immediately remove hot bread from pans and cool on rack. Butter the tops of the loaves while hot. Enjoy!!
favorite whole wheat bread

P.S. I highly recommend using a Bosch bread mixer. They are wonderful. It’s such a nice thing to have–it seriously makes making bread a piece of cake! All you do is put in the ingredients and let it do all the mixing and kneading for you!

I also really like the WonderMill Wheat Grinder. It’s not as loud as loud as some other brands, and it’s very compact and easy to operate.

Some Tips when using a Bosch bread mixer:

  • Be sure to clean off the counter very well before making your bread because if there are any grains or flour on it, it makes it a lot easier for the bread mixer to slide around rather than staying put.
  • Stay with it while it’s mixing. Especially towards the end when the dough gets really thick, just in case it randomly decides to hop out of the bowl and onto the floor (it’s happened before!)
  • Put the lid on when you are just mixing dry ingredients, so as to not get dust flying everywhere.

healthy whole wheat bread

 

 

9 comments

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  1. Samantha @ Five Heart Home

    Your loaves turned out beautifully, Rebecca, and I love your step-by-step pics and thorough tips! Thanks so much for linking back to me. :)

    1. Rebecca

      You bet :) I’m glad I ran across this winner recipe on your blog. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Karyn

    This looks amazing- I love trying new bread recipes & yours looks perfect… I was trying to find an e-mail contact for you & couldn’t but I wanted to invite you to a new Mormon Mom Bloggers Facebook group if you are interested.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/680680201942508/?bookmark_t=group :)

    1. Rebecca

      Thanks for the invite, Karyn! I just sent a request to join. And thanks for commenting on my post :)

  3. Maxine Soakai

    I’m learning to make bread and this post is so helpful! Your bread looks so delicious, I’m glad you posted a whole wheat recipe. I’ll definitely be give this a try :)

    maxinesoakai.com

    1. Rebecca

      I’m glad you found it useful! Thanks for letting me know – it’s always nice to get a comment like this :) I hope your bread turned out great!

  4. Sonia

    I made this recipe today and I definitely will be doing this bread from now on. It is delicious! Thank you for the recipe. The only thing I changed was to melt coconut oil and use it in place of the vegetable oil. Awesome!
    God bless.

  5. Angela

    What size bread pan do you use?

    1. Rebecca

      Just a regular one :)

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