This bread recipe was given to me by a friend. I have since changed it around a bit to the way I like it, of course. I am pretty sure she got her recipe from someone who got it from the Urban Homemaker (and the recipe looks fairly close, giving credit where credit is due…that’s important.)
I start bread making a day or two ahead of time by sprouting my wheat. I soak the wheat for 8 hours, rinse it really well, dry it in my dehydrator until completely dry (usually 12 hours, sometimes more or less.) Once the wheat is dry, I can then grind it. My mill offers three settings, fine, finer, and finer than you thought possible. I kind of miss the manual for this reason and this reason alone. I grind mine on the “coarse” setting that is actually finer than I could get double milling the flour in my old manual. But we’ll get back to the recipe. Here’s the ingredients and directions once you have some freshly ground, sprouted flour:
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Honey
1/2 cup Yogurt (we make our own from partially skimmed, raw milk)
2 cups warm water
1 tsp yeast (or a little less)
1 TBSP Salt
6-7 cups Whole Wheat Sprouted Flour
In your heavy duty mixer (I currently am using a Kitchen Aid) bowl with the dough hook attachment put the oil, honey, yogurt, and warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top and put the salt in off to one side.
Put in 5 cups of flour and turn mixer on. You’ll want to keep adding some flour until the dough forms a ball around the dough hook and cleans the sides of the mixer. Personally I start with 6 cups of flour and most of the time use the full bit of the extra cup. Much of that depends on your climate, though so start with less and work your way up. Your going to want you dough to knead for about 5 minutes or so.
While the dough is kneading, I turn on my oven to warm. Once it’s done kneading, I turn the oven off. Take bowl off of mixer, remove dough hook, and place a damp towel over the bowl. Place in TURNED OFF oven (yes, I’ve forgotten to turn off the oven…twice now…feels better knowing you know I am no where near perfect!) Let it rise overnight if you start it in the late evening like I do or about 9 hours if you don’t work well at night.
In the morning (or evening if you start in the morning) you’ll want to divide your dough into two loaves. I use Olive Oil to knead my dough and shape it. I do not knead it long, just long enough for it to get a smooth elastic feel to it. Place into two pans greased with Olive Oil and then they go into my dehydrator covered with plastic wrap sprayed with Olive Oil for about an hour (depending on how cool the dough is when I shape it) or until doubled in size. You could do this in any warm spot, but it might take a bit longer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, they will be nice and golden brown.
I’ve had one batch not turn out (besides the two I baked during the first rise from not turning the oven off.) Still not sure what I did to that one, but so it goes. I like to change it up a bit and was inspired again by Urban Homemaker how they add things to their bread. Here’s my two favorites:
Cinnamon Raising Bread: after the first rise, while shaping the loaves. I knead them out very flat and spread on some melted Butter, sprinkle with Rapadura, a healthy amount of Cinnamon, and Raisins. Roll up and tuck ends under to form the loaf. Bake as normal. (When it gets kind of old it makes amazing French Toast!)
Tomato Herb Bread: after first rise, while shaping loaves. Knead dough very flat and spread on some Pesto (Basil and Garlic Scape are my favorite.) Sprinkle with fresh garden herbs (Rosemary is my current go-to), crumpled up Dehydrated Tomato Slices, and a bit of Pepper. Roll up, tuck ends under to form loaf and bake as normal. (Makes wonderful Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!)
If anyone has any questions please ask, as I am always more than happy to try to help someone get on the right track with making their own bread. It’s very rewarding, not to mention tasty, to eat fresh bread made with freshly ground flour!
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