August 20, 2014

How to make Whole Wheat Bread

Jul28

In the midst of my two week travel excursion, I just realized that my one year blogging anniversary has come and gone.
I thought it would be fun to re-visit my very first “foodie” post, written when five of you visited my blog, I didn’t really concern myself with any kind of word choices, and I still had a $79 digital camera. :)
This post cracks me up because I read this again for the first time in a year and I realized that I never even posted a recipe… and I’m still not going to. ;)
There are so many great whole wheat recipes but all that I use are specifically for mixers, not hand kneading. For those of you who are new to bread baking, I have a really easy to use french bread recipe for beginners that I was thinking of doing as a post, along with a video tutorial. Let me know if that would be a helpful addition.

There is something about the sense of smell that creates powerful emotions.
It’s a beautiful thing really.

Close your eyes and think of a favorite smell.
Is there a special memory tied to it?
Can you recall a specific event?
Maybe a Thanksgiving meal?
How about coffee brewing, brownies baking, bread rising?
(Notice my associations all go to food).
To me, the rousing aroma of freshly baked bread soothes my soul in a simple way.
It reminds me of days gone by, a simpler life, a time when families connected over the breaking of bread.
For most people, the thought of baking bread terrifies them.
“It takes too much time, it’s so much effort,
and I can’t even cook dinner for my family.”
Please don’t go running for the hills, it’s easier than you think. This isn’t a full scale tutorial…just some pictures to inspire you. Maybe this will be the week where you will rekindle your family’s senses and soothe them with the sumptuous smell.


For you city folk…this is whole wheat grain.
Remember “for amber waves of grain”…it’s really amber,
and that’s not just because of a bad camera.
When those “granola-y” types say they are grinding their own grain, don’t be too impressed.
I do as well, and it’s as easy as plugging in the curling iron. Just pour the amber waves of grain into the hopper and….
VOILA!!! Freshly milled, highly nutritious whole wheat flour.
Did you know that all flour loses the majority of its vitamins within hours of milling it?
Isn’t that a bummer since we buy it off the grocery shelves…oh well.
But have no fear….
you don’t really think I would go without the good old white flour.
No way…I am not always that healthy. Yes, I buy in bulk(those bags are 25 lbs).
When I bake, I bake for an army and freeze extras.
After you have easily mixed all the ingredients together, the dough will look like this.
Like I said, definitely not a complete tutorial. You are going to cover it and let it rise for about 30-40 minutes.

Yeast is a living thing, so it breathes (rises) all on its own…so puffy…I love that.
But then the part I love even more – punching it down.
A great aggression getter outter. See how it leaves my fist print – it feels great!
I take it out of the bowl and flatten it all out. The kids love this part because it feels so squishy. Then I divide it equally between loaves, rolls etc and shape them.
I will let it rise one more time. There are quick rise ways of making bread, but I didn’t have anywhere to be, so I opted for a 2nd rise.
Before….
AFTER (about 30-60 minutes depending on how hot your kitchen is)
Bake and TA-DAAA!! Can’t you smell it?
Pass the butter, please..now the cinnamon and sugar (my fav).
It’s typically a little lighter in color but I yelled to my son to turn the oven off.
He did (but the bread stayed in…oops)
Carrying through on my daily theme of balancing the beauty and bedlam, I need to be real here. I took a long sabbatical from my weekly bread making tradition. For years, I would make 4-6 loaves of bread every week. It was easy. I could do it in my sleep (although the bread never turns out the same…go figure). My sister in love and I organized an order with other ladies from our food co-op. Montana Wheat brought a semi all the way to NC back in Y2K. Well, I have a closet full of various grains (yikes, even lentils)…so I better get grinding and baking.

My husband is highly encouraging it…in a sweet kind of “the dry ice is only good for 10 years, honey” kind of way. I would love to share some of my bounty if any one is in the area. Come use my grinder and we’ll break bread over some freshly brewed coffee and cinnamon rolls.
Bedlam I tell you…SHEER BEDLAM!
Thanks for revisiting my first ever food post written when Tasty Tuesday didn’t even exist. This definitely “works for me.”
I can’t wait to see what’s cooking in your kitchen this week.





Comments

  1. Christi @ A Southern Life says:

    Happy 100-versary! Love the bread. Nothing smells better or tastes better!

    Christi

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  2. Jerri - Simply Sweet Home says:

    I just love bread! Yours looks delicious!

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  3. Kristen says:

    I have the same grain mill that you have. I think it sounds like a jet engine, but it makes wonderful flour!

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  4. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Happy anniversary! Too funny that we pretty much started our blogs at the same time. :)

    Grinding my own wheat… that's one I haven't tried yet.

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  5. Frugal Fine Living says:

    Happy 100! I really enjoy your blog!

    I love baking bread, too. It makes the house smell wonderful. Yours looks delicious!

    Jane

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  6. Musings of a Housewife says:

    There is NOTHING like homemade bread. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  7. Happy Blogiversary! Homemade whole wheat bread is one of the best things in the world. Yum!

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  8. Amy Bayliss says:

    If I lived nearby I'd take you p on that offer. That bread looks great!

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  9. Blushing hostess says:

    Happy Anniversary! The bread looks great – I am far too new-baby tired to attempt this, however!

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  10. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Jen, I loved seeing the pictures of how you make *real* bread! ;) That was so cool. Thanks for hosting yet again, another fun Tasty Tuesday. If you have a chance to come by my blog, my 200th post Giveaway is something that actually reminds me of YOU! :)

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  11. Snow White says:

    yummy! there's nothing like the smell of baking bread :)

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  12. ~3 Sides of Crazy~ says:

    Looks great – nothing better than homemade bread.

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  13. Thank you! I would really appreciate more tutorials and a video. I can never seem to get it right! I use my bread machine for everything, but it's old. When it goes, I will probably not be able to run out and buy a new one for a while, so I should just learn to do it by hand…and well!

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  14. Julie@comehaveapeace says:

    Thank you for the great photos. You do such a good job of teaching as you share. :) Are you going to She Speaks? I can't go this year, but will praying for all of those who will go and be blessed.

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  15. Sonshine says:

    Happy bloggy anniversary! :)

    I am glad to see that I am not the only who gets the 25lbs bags of flour from Sams. :) Having that much flour around makes it so much easier to get baking done without worrying about having enough. :)

    Thanks for hosting Tasty Tuesday! :)

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  16. Tricia Anne says:

    Yuh-Mee! :o) Our pantries look the same! Have a great day!
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

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  17. That's some serious wheat bread… ha! Congrats and that's me with the Mozz Pie. Enjoy!
    Ginger

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  18. Kristine says:

    Focus on using that soft wheat first. It doesn't last as long. And you can't use it in quite the same way. The other stuff should be fine for a long time yet. Just keep using it. :)

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  19. Yummy bread! I haven't made any this summer….Perhaps I'll have to remedy that!

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  20. Rachel R. says:

    Oh, my. I'd take you up on that, too, if I lived closer. We go through white wheat (hard and soft) and lentils almost like water! lol

    I use a mixer for my bread now, but when I first got married I didn't have one, and I always made it by hand. Same recipe; it works just as well either way. :)

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  21. elizabeth says:

    Oh how I miss baking bread! When my kids were younger I used to bake all our bread and now haven't done it in years. Perhaps you've inspired me?

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  22. O'Nealya Gronstal says:

    Hi Jen— I finally got my computer and your blog to kiss and make up! I tried numerous times yesterday and again this morning to get on here and leave you a comment but couldn't for some weird technology hates me reason. Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement yesterday on my blog! You made my day! I can't wait to meet you Friday – you are my kind of gal! Homemade goody-healthy foods-coupon clippin'-daughter of the King! I am off right now to go make banana nut muffins with applesauce and oat-rageous raisin and cranberry cookies to take on our drive to Charlotte tomorrow so hubby doesn't buy donuts and junk food while stopping for gas!!
    Happy Anniversary too!
    Hugs and blessings my new friend – O'Nealya

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  23. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    I barely bake any bread and I really should! I like your post Jen! Happy Blogaversary to you!

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  24. The Mangerchine's says:

    Please do share your french bread recipe! I would also LOVE your whole wheat bread mixer recipe… I've been looking for one, but only find the kneading type. If you don't want to share it on your blog, feel free to email it to me at shannon.mangerchine@gmail.com.

    Shannon

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