Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread (or Buns or Rolls)

It's that time of year when I get the itch to bake and bake and bake.  Then this weekend I was asked to substitute teach Sunday School and the lesson was on the parable of the yeast (Matthew 13:33).  I had the Sunday School kids make Bread-in-a-Bag. That yummy yeast smell had me craving for some good buns. 

So I took my "regular" recipe for whole-wheat bread that I've used for years and then I veganed it up.  (Yes, "to vegan" is a verb.  At least it is now.)  It turned out pretty well, but I wish I would have let it rise a bit longer on the last step.  Don't rush your dough.  It is sometimes an all day process (depending on temperature and humidity in your home), but it is worth it to smell that fresh bread baking.

The best part was my boys (the little ones and the big one) came home and went nuts over all that fresh baked, homemade goodness.  And I really enjoy me some boy lovin'!

I'll include both the Bread-in-a-Bag recipe that's fun for kids as well as my real recipe.  The real one makes 3 loaves of bread, so share one with a friend and throw one in the freezer for another day.  If you aren't a bread maker or haven't seen it done, let me know and I can talk you through it a little more.  Don't be intimidated, it's really not that difficult. 

BREAD IN A BAG (each bag makes 2 rolls)

1 qt size ziplock bag
1/2 cup white flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon rapid rising yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients together in bag.

Add: 1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup hot tap water

IN CLASS: Mix and knead until dough forms a ball in bag. Let rest for 30 minutes.
AT HOME WITH AN ADULT HELPING: Turn dough out of bag and knead again.  Divide in half and form 2 rolls. Let rise until doubled in size.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and b
ake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.


3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast OR 4 1/2 t. rapid rise yeast
3 T. cup honey or agave nectar
3 c. all-purpose or bread flour
2 c. whole wheat flour

3 T. oil
3 T. brown or white sugar
1 T. salt
3 ½ (or more) cups whole wheat flour

2 T. butter (vegan), melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and honey. Add 3 cups white bread flour and 2 c. whole wheat flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour.

Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves (or 24 balls for buns, or 36 small balls for rolls). Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans (or on greased cookie sheet) and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch (or doubled in size).

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes for loaf bread (10-15 minutes for buns); do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

(Note: Sometimes I brush with butter before baking. This helps it to brown a bit more.  Be careful not to puncture the dough when brushing with butter since that will cause the dough to fall.)

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