I just had to share this recipe I found on Kate's blog, Modern Alternative Mama! For the past year, I have been searching for a simple, easy and delicious sandwich bread made with 100% whole wheat flour. There are lots of great bread recipes out there and I have several that make on a regular basis, but this one is hands down the best whole wheat bread I've tasted. Most other recipes require some funny ingredients that I usually don't have on hand, like orange juice, mashed potatoes or vital wheat gluten, in order to make the whole wheat bread more palatable (whole wheat can be slightly bitter). This recipe is soaked overnight, which I believe creates the superb flavor and light texture (and some people will say that soaking makes the grains easier to digest). I will admit this recipe contains more sweetener than I would like, but it's so amazing I don't care. Also, the directions for this recipe look long, but there is really less than 15 minutes of hands-on time. You will want to make sure you bake this bread on a day that you will be home for a good chunk of the morning or afternoon, as you do need to monitor the rising.
Honey Oatmeal Bread - Makes 2 loaves
-4 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
-1 cup oat flour (just whiz some old fashioned oatmeal in the food processor until it looks like flour)
-1/2 cup honey
-3/4 coconut oil, melted
-1 3/4 cups water
-2 tsp sea salt
-1 tbsp yeast
1. Melt the coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine flours, honey, coconut oil and water. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer but you don't need one. Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. You may need to add a bit more water.
2. Set bowl aside to soak overnight or at least 8 hours. I left the dough right in the mixing bowl and covered it loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
3. In the morning (or 8 hours later), add the additional ingredients.
4. Turn dough out onto a floured board or counter top (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour to flour the counter). Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Add a little more flour as need to keep it from sticking. I also tried kneading the dough in the mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment for the Kitchen Aid, but felt that hand kneading actually worked better in this case.
5. Return dough to the bowl and allow to rise for 2-3 hours. Mine hardly had any rise after 2 hours. I also realized my house was at 61 degrees. Duh. So I boiled water, set it in a pan in the unheated oven and stuck the bowl of dough in there for an hour. Voila. Should have done that the first time.
6. Punch down dough and divide into 2 greased loaf pans. Don't worry about bumps -they will even out as the dough rises. Allow the dough to rise a second time in the loaf pans (use the same trick as above - pan of boiling water in the oven) for about an hour.
7. Near the end of the rising time, carefully remove the bread (be careful you don't cause the bread to collapse - if so, let it rise again) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-50 or until bread reaches over 180 degrees (use a thermometer to check). Allow to cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack. Resist the urge to slice into warm bread, or the bread may tear. On second thought, screw it. Just slice it and slather a steaming piece with butter. *Bliss* There are few things in this world that are better than warm, fresh baked bread. Enjoy.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share???