Thursday, April 10, 2008

100% Whole Wheat Bread

I can hardly believe it...

I profess to a passion for making bread, but I have never posted about a single one I have made. I make it often, so why have I never written about it? I don't know the answer to that question; all I can do is try to make up for it.

Like many things, my interest in bread comes from my mom. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and she is a bread baker. I have an early memory of a large bowl of dough rising beneath the bed covers when I was three or four. During my teen years she bought a bread machine and production frequency and variety increased. Her interest grew and she'd make doughs in the machine which baked in the oven. We'd have sweet breakfast breads containing dried fruits or toasted nuts. At dinner there'd be french loaves or dense whole wheat ones. For a dessert, a bread filled with apples and glazed or a flat bread sprinkled with fruit.

My last year of college, Mom got a new bread machine. The old was still in fine condition and she passed it onto me.

My first experiences using it solo were less than successful; the first try at pizza dough ended with Round Table Pizza delivery. With experience I've developed a respectable repertoire, along with comfort in trying new recipes.

If you ask her, Mom will say her favorite recipe is the Italian Whole Wheat Bread she makes from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. She makes it often and is still working to perfect it to her satisfaction. This is the original book she used with the bread machine, and the one I know best. I received a copy of this book as a gift and it's my most-loved cookbook by far.

It contains my recipe for Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (see post), and this one- my favorite wheat bread for a sandwich or some butter and jam. I find white breads boring; this is dark and mysterious. It has great flavor and color, and it's all whole wheat flour so it is very dense.

Munch on a toasty slice of this with some sharp cheddar cheese and a little tomato- delicious.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Enova or Canola oil
1/4 cup light Molasses (not black strap)
4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tablespoons gluten
1 3/4 Teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon SAF yeast

Makes a 1 1/2 pound Loaf in the Bread Machine.

Place all the ingredients in the pan of your bread machine in the order listed. Set the crust to medium and the program for the Whole Wheat cycle and press start. When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the machine and place on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.

Fresh bread will start to mold much sooner than store-packaged bread because of the lack of preservative. Store bread in the fridge for a few days, and in the freezer for a longer period of time.

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