Monday, January 16, 2012

Wheat Nut Bread with photos

I like trying a new recipe for bread.  
This one is wonderful and I'd only make one change. 
Be careful with how much flour you use.  The dough can get much too dry, so add your flour slowly and 
I'll explain as we go.

Wheat Nut bread

From The Complete Book Of BREADS
By Bernard Clayton, Jr.

2 (8.5 X4.5" pans)

Ingredients: 3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons or 2 packages of dry yeast
1 pinch of sugar
1/4 cup honey ( I used Agave syrup)
1 tablespoon salt
2.5 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk 
3 tablespoons of oil
1/2 cup walnuts broken
1/2 cup seedless raisins

Lightly grease your bread pans. 
In a large bowl
(I'm going to do the kneading in my mixer so I'll do all this pre-knead work
in my mixer bowl.)

Measure the whole wheat flour and make a well in the center.  Pour warm water in the well and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Stir yeast into the water with a metal whisk or fork to quicken the action.  Add the pinch of sugar and let stand for 3 minutes. 

You have not stirred in the flour you are working on top of the flour. 

with a large wooden spoon pull the flour into the yeast mixture-stir
until all of the flour is wet.
I let my kitchen aid mix this part up

Add the honey, salt and 1 cup of white all purpose flour and dry milk.
Stir in veggie oil, nuts and raisins.
  Beat until blended and smooth-about 100 strokes 
Add all-purpose flour a little at a time until the dough is 
stiff and cleans the side of the bowl.
Now is it ready for kneading.

This is where you have to be careful. 
Wheat flour can just gobble up moisture 
if you add too much flour the dough is much too dry.

I was very close to too dry on my batch
but I try to follow a recipe as is the first time
I only added 1 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour.  
I think I would have rather
cut the whole wheat flour by 1/2 cup 
and added a bit more white flour. 
Still the bread is wonderful and I think my changes
can only add to a great loaf!


Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board or counter top
and knead about 75 push-turn-fold-stokes. 
The dough will be stiff, bouncy but not as elastic as white dough. 
It may be slightly tacky but not sticky.  Keep flour on your fingers.

This is the beautiful kneading job the mixer did! 

Place the ball of dough in a large bowl which has been
greased with a little oil.  roll the ball around to coat it in oil 
wheat dough dries out very fast so make sure you oil it. 
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm place 
until double in bulk. 
You can test if it has risen by poking a finger in it,
the dent will remain if risen.

Punch down the dough and knead for 30 seconds to press out the air bubbles.
  With a sharp knife divide the dough in two balls.  
Form each into a ball and let rest under a towel for 4 minutes.  


Press ball of dough into a flat oval, roughly the length of the baking pan
Roll the oval up pinching the seam tightly as you go.
Tuck the ends under and place in the pan, seam down.
Repeat with other loaf. 

 This is where I can really see the dough is too dry to connect to it's self. 

Place the pans in a warm place, cover with wax paper and leave until 
the center of the dough has risen 1/2 inch above the level of the edge of the pan.  
This is about 45 minutes in a warm house. 

I always raise whole wheat bread nice and high!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake loaves in a fully heated oven.  
When the loaves are dark brown and 
tapping the bottom of the crust yields
a hard and hollow sound they are done. 
This is about 40 minutes.  
Shift the pans twice during the baking period, starting at half the baking time)
so they can be exposed to the variations in the oven equally. 

Remove bread from the oven and place loaves on a wire cooling rack.  
I butter the loaves with a bar of butter rubbed all over the sides,
bottom, and top of the loaf.  This makes the crust nice and soft 
for the kids.  I learned this from my grandmother who made all
her bread, always, for her family of eight.  YIKES.

If you did get too much flour in your recipe count on the kids
taking the crust off because it gets very heavy and thick.

    See that hole in the right side of the bread that
was the dry dough not sticking to it's self. 

Very tasty, wonderful bread!  
You can leave out the nuts and raisins 
but they are the best part! 

If you have walnut sensitivity use sunflower seeds
They really are wonderful in bread!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bread recipe for sandwich bread

I know you want to start with the healthiest bread possible. 

If only you knew what they put in commercial whole wheat bread.
You would not mind the bit of white flour my recipe has to
make this good sandwich bread.

  Any wheat based product is becoming so expensive none of us can afford it.
 This is carried to the home made bread range.
You may find flour
to be as costly as buying bread.

All you can cut is the price of labor and transport, which you will do for yourself. 

Let me start you on a loaf that just tastes wonderful.
It was my go to loaf for toast
and sandwiches.
It has milk and butter, bran and honey in it.....
I know of bread recipes with none of that richness.
But try this once and convince yourself you can make good bread
before you start on the other recipes.

Honey-bran bread
from Better Than Store-Bought (1979)

1 1/2 Cups of milk (you must scald milk if using with yeast products)
1/2 Stick (4 tablespoons) butter (can be unsalted)
1/3 cup honey (honey draws moisture to bread keeping it fresh)

4 teas salt (we use so much less now)
1/2 cup warm (110 degree) water
2 teas sugar
2 tablespoon or 2 packages of dry yeast
(NOT instant yeast used in bread machines)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unprocessed coarse bran (not toasted)
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour as needed
2-3 tablespoons melter butter to brush on loaves 
(you can use oil or a cube of butter just rubbed over the hot bread,
keeps the crust from getting hard)


1. In a saucepan, combine the milk and 1/2 stick butter, honey and salt.  
Stir until butter melts...Cool to 110 degrees.

2. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water with the sugar and yeast.
Let stand until very foamy...about 10 minutes.

3. Beat the cooled milk mixture with the yeast mixture,
then beat in the whole-wheat flour and bran until the mixture is
too stiff to stir by hand.
4. Sprinkle 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining flour in a ring on a kneading surface.
Put the dough in the center and mix roughly with a dough scraper or pancake turner.  
Knead very thoroughly, adding more flour if needed to prevent stickiness.
This should be a medium-stiff dough.
Knead it until dough is elastic and has a slight sheen.
Never worry about over kneading the dough, most the time people under knead it.  
It should bounce away from your finger when you press on the dough.

5. Form into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl.
Turn the dough to coat with the oil
and allow it to sit and rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. 
I lay a bit of wax paper over the top to keep it from drying.

6. Punch dough down and turn it onto a surface to knead out the air.  You don't need
more flour and this isn't a heavy kneading just a bit of punching out the air.

Half the dough and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes.  
Put that wax paper or a cotton towel over the two loafs.

7. Form each ball of dough into a loaf. 
For a sandwich loaf, 
roll dough into a 1/2" thick rectangle about as wide as the pan. 
Beginning on the short side, roll up the
dough Jelly-roll fashion.
pinching the rolled portion to the flat portion every half turn or so.
  Pinch the ends closed and fit
snugly into a greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.
Shaping it higher in the center than at the sides and ends. 
 This goes fast.

Let dough rise again until doubled; it should rise
about 1 inch about the pan rim.

8. While the loaves are rising, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Bake them in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. 

REDUCE the oven to 350 degrees 
and bake the loaves for about 20 minutes longer. 
The loaves will have shrunken away from the sides of the pan.

Turn out the loaves from the pan and bake them for 5 more minutes or
until a firm rapping on the bottom produces a hollow sound.

Remove from oven, rub with butter and cool.

Unless you just have to have a hot slice which is not easy to slice but do enjoy!
Makes 2 loaves.

If you have a mixer with a dough hook you are really in business
It will knead your dough so much faster than you can.  
If you press your hands into the dough ball after the machine kneads
it you will get an idea of what you will it will feel like
when hand kneading. 

No photos tonight I put this recipe here to let you see what ingredients 
you will need.  Tues I will make a couple of loaves and take photos.