Whole Wheat Bread --
Healthy and Hearty
Perfect companions for a healthy lunch
This hearty whole wheat bread is perfect for the health conscious who want to add more whole grains to their diet. The more whole grain you use, the healthier your bread. However, some people don't like the texture of 100% whole wheat, and it is always a good idea to make major changes in your diet slowly. This whole wheat bread recipe meets both of these needs although it uses wheat germ and is a bit heavier on the whole wheat than some.
You can buy wheat germ either raw or toasted. If you buy raw wheat germ you can easily toast it yourself. Spread the wheat germ on a baking sheet and place in a 300 F oven and check in five minutes. You want the wheat germ to have changed in color to a light brow. OR, you can put in a dry frying pan and at medium heat and watch until it has turned a golden brown.
If you have a grain grinder, you may add an interesting and robust flavor to your bread by toasting the whole grain wheat berries (as above) before grinding. If you don’t want to take these extra steps, you will still have a fine whole wheat loaf for your efforts.
3 ½-4 cups bread or all purpose flour
1 cup wheat germ (may be toasted)
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ cup of honey or molasses
2 cups warm water
Stir the yeast into the water in a bowl until dissolved. Set aside until frothy. Add the honey or molasses, salt and oil and mix by hand or with a mixer dough hook on medium speed. Slowly add the wheat germ, whole wheat flour and white flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl. If hand mixing, dump the dough on a floured counter and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic.
See Kneading Bread Dough.
If using a mixer, continue to mix until the dough forms into a single smooth and elastic piece. About 10 minutes.
Place dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, turning to coat uniformly with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap (or disposable shower cap) and let rise for 90 minutes or more in a warm place-- until doubled in size. Note the "dimple" in the dough pictured here. One way to tell if dough has doubled in size is to poke it with your finger. If the dimple stays, the bread has doubled in size.
Grease two 9 x 5 inch bread pans. Divide the dough in half and form into two loaves and place in pans. Cover with cloth (not terry cloth) and let rise again for 45 minutes.
Place in cold oven and bake at 375 F for 35 minutes. Move to cooling rack.
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