Up until this week, I had not found a completely healthy, soaked, whole-grain bread recipe that I was completely satisfied with. All of my other soaked recipes just made a loaf of bread that was too dense. But thanks to Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, I've found my recipe! love this bread! It is dangerous, though, because it makes me want to eat bread all the time. And now my husband has informed me that I must make it every week :) But that, my friends, is a huge compliment, because he is super picky about bread! AND I'm excited because he liked the bread so much that he told me to go ahead and order my grain mill! Yay! Oh, and I'm excited because I can cross off another one of my New Year's Resolutions already -- I made big, but flatter dinner rolls out of the dough and they work just fine for hamburger buns! So here is the recipe, but you should really check out her blog post for her tips on making the best bread!
Makes 4 loaves
I make this recipe once a month, and freeze them, and we are set!
4 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
1 tsp honey (for activating yeast)
1 ½ Tbls. Salt
¾ cup coconut oil, butter or olive oil (melted)
1 cup honey
11-12 cups whole wheat flour or combination (I will occasionally throw in some kamut, barley, etc., but I mainly use hard white winter grain and/or hard red winter grain) – You can replace 1-2 cups with unbleached white flour for an even lighter texture, if desired.
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flax seeds, optional
1/3 cup raw millet, optional
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, optional
2-4 Tbsp dough enhancer (4 Tbsp works best for me!) – makes for some wonderfully light loaves of bread! I highly recommend this dough enhancer, as it works very well, but you can also replace with any combination of the following: 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, 1/2 teaspoon soy lecithin, a pinch of citric acid (use sparingly!), and a sprinkling of ginger
Combine yeast, 1 tsp of honey, and 1/2 cup of the total water required. Let sit for 5 minutes or so, until fully proofed. Combine the yeast mixture, remaining 4 cups of water, and all the rest of the ingredients in your mixer. Only add as much flour until it cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until the gluten is fully developed. Remove to a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let sit until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and divide into 4 loaves. Roll out with a rolling pin into a rectangle and roll up into a loaf (this makes the perfectly shaped loaves). Place in greased bread bans and rise again until doubled, about 30-45 minutes minutes (the best place is the oven! Just turn it on low 150-170 degrees till heated and then turn it off, prior to putting the loaves in). Turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 30-45 minutes. Bread is done when it is fully browned on all sides! Remove from oven, rest in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Benefits of Soaking Your Grains
If you want to add the benefits of soaking the grains to this recipe, my soaking method is as follows:
Combine the following ingredients, cover and soak for 12-24 hours:
1 cup kefir, cultured buttermilk, or whey (for dairy intolerant you can substitute with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and 3/4 cup water)
3 cups of water
11 cups of ground flour (you can replace 1 or 2 cups with unbleached white flour for a lighter end result)
2 cups oats
1 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut oil, butter or olive oil, melted
1/4 cup raw millet, optional
1/4 cup flax seed, optional
After soaking, activate the yeast by combining:
1/2 cup water
1 tsp honey
2 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
After activating the yeast, combine it with the soaked flour and add the remaining ingredients:
1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
2-4 Tbsp dough enhancer
1 cup unbleached white flour, if necessary (usually not necessary)
Sunflower seeds, if desired
Kneed for approximately 8-10 minutes. Continue with instructions as listed above.