Let’s just talk about carbs for a second. If you’ve ever been on a diet then you probably have a negative view of carbohydrates. This is sad to me. I consider myself to be a healthy eater; conscious of what I’m putting into my body. I love my fruits and veggies in every way you can cook them, but nothing really satisfies me like a big bowl of noodles, a handful of pretzels or a thick slice of warm bread. In the end, the key to my heart is a five letter word; carbs. Being a big soup fan, I love that its perfect companion is a hunk of warm bread. It is because of this love that I find myself making two loaves of whole wheat bread every week for my husband and I. This recipe is not only simple in its number of ingredients, but on my first try I was successful, which makes it a simple one to master. Your house, or small overpriced city apartment, will smell like a French boulangerie; pulling you in and warming your soul.
Before I get into the ingredients I want to mention that you DO NOT NEED A BREAD MACHINE! I recently learned that all that a bread machine does is cut down on the time it takes for the yeast to rise the dough. The machine constantly kneads the dough so it can be baked in less time. This recipe, however, takes 10 minutes of hand kneading and then some good ol’ time for the yeast to rise at its own pace. Factor in 3 hours of rising time and 30 minutes of bake time. Watch a movie, clean the house, nap, read more of my blog, etc. You can now put on your resume that you can multitask. Look in the bulk section for most of your ingredients or do your best to buy the ingredients that come in recyclable packaging. If you don’t currently own two medium sized bread pans, I recommend hitting up Goodwill or your neighbor because buying new ones is just silly and a waste of money.
WHOLE WHEAT BREAD – 2 medium loaves
- 1 TBSP yeast (buy the yeast that comes in a jar! Recyclable remember )
- 2 1/2 cups of warm water
- 2 tsp salt (available in bulk)
- 2 TBSP honey (bulk, or local Farmer’s Market if you can!)
- 3 TBSP olive oil (available in bulk)
- 6 cups whole wheat flour (available in bulk or recyclable packaging)
- 2 medium bread pans
- 3 hours and 30 minutes of free time
- Clean hands and muscles
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 2 cups of warm water (about a minute of stirring). Add in the salt, 1 tbsp of honey and 4 cups of the flour. Mix all together with a wooden spoon or your hands. If you want to have more fun, I suggest using your hands. Get a cloth damp with warm water and cover the bowl with the dough inside. Put it in a warm spot if you have one. Let it rise for 1 hour. Start romcom.
2. Uncover the dough. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup warm water, 3 tbsp olive oil, the remaining tbsp of honey and the last 2 cups of flour. Mix thoroughly with your hands. I’m not even giving you the spoon option anymore. Once it’s all mixed together and forms a solid ball of dough, place it onto a clean, hard surface. Set a timer for 10 minutes and start to knead the dough. It will feel like forever after only 3 minutes, so definitely set a timer. To knead dough all you do is press down firmly until it starts to flatten a bit, then fold it over onto itself and repeat. You are essentially working the yeast, so don’t hold back here. Knead it like you mean it. After 10 minutes, put it back into the same bowl, recover with a warm damp cloth and let it rise for another hour. Unpause your romcom!
3. Uncover the dough. You’ll notice the dough is getting bigger, which means you did some solid kneading. For potentially no real important reason, but because every bread recipe says to do so, punch the dough in the center. Why? Because the kneading part was terrible? I don’t know. Divide the dough in half (eyeball it). Form it into a nice loaf shape and put one in each bread pan. Guess what’s next? Cover it again with the warm damp cloth and let it rise for 1 more hour. Watch the extra features!
Note: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees about 10 minutes before the dough is done rising.
4. The dough should have about doubled in size in the pan. If you haven’t already done so, preheat your oven to 350. Bake for 25-30 minutes. You can tell if they’re done by tapping on the top of each loaf, listening for a hollow sound.
This is the best part! Cut off a nice thick slice, spread on your homemade butter and let it all melt in your mouth. This bread is especially great for tuna melts and as a best friend to a bowl of tomato soup. Store the rest in a bread bag in your fridge so it keeps for longer. Recycle your containers and close the lids on your bulk jars. By making your own homemade bread, you are saving money, reducing waste and getting personal with your food. Simply delicious!