Turns out I’m not that awesome, in case you were wondering. Thought I’d save some cash money (and throw in a little good nutrition while I’m at it) by baking some homemade whole wheat bread. AND I even did it the easy ways by throwing all the ingredients into a bread maker. It came out like this.
That’s what I refer to as a “bread wad.” Oh, and here it is next to my phone so you can get a frame of reference how truly sad it is.
Who messes up bread with a bread maker? Granola Mom does. It’s a work in progress, remember? We’re in this together.
As it turns out, The Wild One actually loved said bread wad and I caught him sneaking it all throughout the day. While I was making dinner, I even turned around and saw him sitting at the table, yanking handfuls out of it…impressive muscles by the way, since it’s obviously dense. It warmed my heart and concerned me a little at the same time. 🙂
Anyway, my roommate in college was such an amazing cook (among other things) and she would often bake loaves of this stuff randomly. We’d come home from long and stressful days to the smell of heaven baking in the oven. Then we’d all sit around the table and eat it with butter and jam, laughing, talking, bonding. It was perfection. I had this vision in mind when I was baking this loaf, but it wasn’t in the cards. I guess I’m going back to the drawing board.
It’s a good recipe though. May you have better luck than me!
Big John’s Basic Whole Wheat Bread (makes 5-6 loaves)
- 6 cups warm water
- 2/3 cup canola oil (you can substitute applesauce)
- 2/3 cup honey
- 3 Tbs. yeast
- 3 Tbs. dough enhancer
- 2 Tbs. salt
- 3 Tbs. vital wheat gluten
- 10-12 cups whole wheat flour (or 6-8 cups wheat if you want to grind your own).
Mix all ingredients except for the whole wheat flour.
Gradually add remaining flour until you can knead it with your hands. Knead it for 7-10 minutes. Put in a greased bowl. Cover. Let it rise until doubled. Punch it down. Knead it a second time 7-10 minutes. Divide and shape into 5-6 loaves. Place in slightly greased bread pans. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
mmmmmmmm….I can almost smell it baking now.
By the way, have you ever noticed the thousands of ingredients in “healthy whole wheat bread?” There’s usually 15-20 ingredients to give it a longer shelf life. I originally had a plan to eat ONLY homemade bread, but that’s not realistic. I have two babies and they need their mom. I’d rather be giving them the attention they need than be kneading dough all day long. BUT, I do throw some in the bread maker when I can. I can always make my own real bread when my kiddos start school right? Anyway, when I do buy it from the store, I always try to buy it as natural as possible. I found a local brand here that has: wheat, yeast, salt, oil, raisins. And it’s delicious. It will tide me over until I can slave away in the kitchen.