May 22, 2016

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread - Using Wheat I Grind Myself

My 'go to' recipe for wheat bread makes a double loaf (two loaves) and uses about 6 cups of white wheat flour.  I usually end up doing a wheat blend, mostly white wheat with a bit of soft and a bit of hard red in it but I think using all hard white wheat berries turns out a fabulous loaf.

For sandwiches, I find my husband is more likely to make one if the bread is square.  Years of using square store bought bread I guess.  When it's a full round or regular homemade shaped loaf he loves it fresh with butter, for soups, for garlic bread, etc. but he's a man of habit and doesn't 'think about' sandwiches unless the slices are square!  Since square pans are rather expensive (for our budget) I only own one (1) right now so you'll see in the photo's below I usually bake this is one traditional style bread pan and one square.  Square pans are thicker and tend to need a longer bake time so increase the time by about 10-15 minutes and test.

White Wheat Bread

3 c warm water
1 T instant or quick yeast
1/3 c oil of choice
1/3 c honey
1 T salt
6 c hard white wheat flour mixed with:
1/2 c whole oats (I've used quick oats, as well as oat fiber and it worked fine)
1/4 c vital wheat gluten with vitamin C

Combine water, yeast, oil, honey and salt.  Add 5 c flour, mix on slow in a heavy duty mixer with bread hook.  Add 1-2 cups more flour as needed to form a dough ball.  This will change with the temperature, humidity level, time of year, etc.  Knead 5-10 minutes.  If your home is chilly or it's winter time, heat your oven to just barely 100 degrees and turn it off.  If it's a nice day anyway, you can usually just turn your oven light on and that is enough warmth to raise your dough.  Divide dough in half to form 2 loaves.  Place in your greased pans.  Cover and let rise in the turned off but still warm oven for about 45 minutes or until doubled in height.  Take the bread out and heat oven to 350.  Place bread in and bake 25-30 minutes or until done.  Remove and cool.

Freshly ground wheat berries - still warm from grinding

I typically just grab canola oil for this recipe but I've tried various others as well.  I didn't have good luck with grape seed oil (I have no idea why, but the loaf just didn't seem to turn out the same).  Coconut Oil worked ok but the loaves didn't raise as much that time and honestly I don't know if it was a fluke or the coconut oil.  

I've used olive oil in a pinch but honestly, I get the best results with plain old canola oil.  I had stopped buying it for a long time for health reasons but I do keep it on hand now mostly for bread and it only uses 1/3 cup for 2 loaves.

The dough is starting to come together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

This is a bad picture but I mention often that this blog isn't about pretty pictures and heck, I usually forget to take them at all!  The reason I hate to use this one is because I didn't have enough dough in the square pan to completely rise to the top.  This loaf didn't end up being 'square' as it had a rounded top - it wasn't tall enough for me to bother with the lid that completes the 'sandwich bread' shape that my husband prefers for sandwiches. Eh... it is what it is.

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