bread recipe

100% Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread

A lot of us want to eat more whole grains, but are unhappy when we try to make 100% whole wheat bread at home. There is a secret to baking whole wheat bread that is both tender, and slices easily. Whole wheat flour, high in gluten, also is high in fibers, which make it harder to get the gluten to that stretchy state. If you knead whole wheat bread dough for 5- 10 minutes, like white bread dough, you’ll have a dough that is far from elastic. The secret? Knead it longer. I knead my whole wheat bread dough about 20 minutes. That is easy if you have it in a stand mixer. Just set it on low and let the dough hook do the work. Not so easy if you are kneading by hand. When kneading for 20 minutes by hand, more and more flour gets added to the dough, to keep it from sticking. The extra flour results in a heavy dough, and a loaf of  bread that is best used as a door stop.  If you have to knead by hand- knead on a wet surface. The dough won’t stick to your hands or the board and you can knead it long enough to get a properly worked dough. How do you know your dough has been worked long enough? Hold the dough up to light and pull it. It should stretch thin enough so that you can see the light through it, without tearing. Here is one of several recipes I have for 100% whole wheat bread. I love it and I think you will, too.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

2 packets active dry yeast
2 2/3 c. warm water
½ c. oil
½ c. honey, molasses or maple syrup
6 ½ -7 c. whole wheat flour
½ c. non fat dry milk
2½ t. salt

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir in 3 cups of the flour the dry milk and the salt. Beat with electric mixer for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour for mixture to form a thick batter and continue mixing on low in mixer for 15-20 minutes. Dough takes time to become elastic. Add extra flour slowly until dough comes away from the sides of the work bowl, but not too soon. Note: if you must do this by hand add flour until dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl and knead with wet hands on wet work surface for 15-20 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl and cover, allowing to rise until puffy, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place in a lightly greased 9×5 – inch pan. Brush top with oil and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top. Allow to rise until doubled. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Tent with foil after 20 minutes to prevent over browning of the top. Test for doneness by removing bread from pan and thumping on the bottom. Bread should sound hollow. Makes 2.

Braided Herb Breads

Herb Breads

Herb Breads

I had a fun herb program in North Canton today. I made this bread for them, and I promised to post the recipe. As fall begins, and the weather gets cooler, I find myself baking more bread. This is one of my favorite recipes. The mix of herbs, garlic and shallots gives this bread great flavor. I like to toast it and spread with a little butter. It also makes a wonderful sandwich bread.  Works well for croutons and as bruschetta, too. You can bake the dough in 9×5 -inch loaf pans, if you want a more traditional shaped bread.

Braided Herb Breads

5 ½ -6 ½ c. flour
2 packages quick rising yeast
½ c. sauteed, minced shallots or onions*
2 T. each dried marjoram and parsley
1 T. each dried oregano and minced garlic
1 T. honey
2 t. dried thyme
2 t. salt
¼ c. olive oil
2 ¼ c. hot water

In a mixing bowl combine 2 c. of flour with the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Beat with electric mixer 4 minutes then add 1-cup additional flour and beat 1 minute longer. Stir in flour ½ cup at a time until soft dough forms. Turn onto surface and knead, adding flour gradually until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly greased bowl and turn to cover. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Turn dough onto surface and cut in half. Cut each half into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Loosely braid three ropes together and repeat with the remaining dough. Place on greased baking sheet and cover until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 2.

* I cook the shallots or onions in a little oil or butter, then cool before adding to the dough.

Variation: Whole wheat: Add 2 cups of whole-wheat flour to replace 2 cups of white flour. Also try adding ¼ c. of wheat germ, oat bran or 2 tablespoons of seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, etc.)
Regular yeast can be used, but rising times will be longer and water should be warm, not hot.

Nisu Bread

Nisu

Nisu

This wonderful recipe came from the Finn grandmother of a good friend. It is a soft, slightly sweet bread made special with the addition of cardamom. Cardamom is a spice that has a rich, sweet flavor and fragrance.  You can purchase it ground or whole, in pods. Cardamom is often used in baked goods and adds a nice flavor to frosting and glazes. It is also used to flavor coffee. This bread is lovely just toasted and makes great French toast.

Nisu

½ c. warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
2 c. milk
½ c. sugar
2-3 t. ground cardamom
1 t. salt
6 T. butter
6-7 c. flour, preferably bread flour
2 eggs

Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Place milk in large bowl and add the sugar, cardamom, salt and butter. Heat in microwave until liquid is very warm. Butter might not be completely melted. Stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Place 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl and add the milk mixture, eggs and yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup more of the flour and beat 2 minutes more. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn dough to coat. Cover with a towel and allow to rest until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a loaf and place in greased 9×5 inch bread pans. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 3 loaves.

Duck Fat Bread

Duck Fat Bread

Duck Fat Bread

My Mom used to make this wonderful sweet bread. Made it for every family occasion. She was also a very frugal person and decided rather that toss duck skin she had removed from a duck she was using in soup she rendered the fat. Once it was cooled it looked like butter. She was making her bread and substituted the duck fat for the butter in the recipe. When my brother-in-law, Bob, tasted it he declared it was the best yet. My Mom told him what the secret ingredient was and from that day on we always called it duck fat bread- even when it was made with butter. Here is the recipe- wonderful even made with plain old butter.

 

 

 

Butter Coffeecake Braids aka Duck Fat Bread

4 1/2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

1 t. salt

½ c. butter or 1/2 c. cooled rendered duck fat

1 packet yeast

¼ c. warm water

2 t. sugar

1 c. evaporated milk

2 eggs, beaten

Combine flour with sugar and salt. Cut in butter or duck fat and set aside. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in warm water. Dissolve yeast in warm water mixture and set aside. Allow to become bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Combine milk with eggs. Stir in yeast mixture and add to flour mixture stirring well. Knead dough in bowl until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1½ hours. Divide dough in half and then each half into thirds. Roll dough into ropes and braid three ropes together. Repeat with remaining 3 ropes.  Place braids in 9×5 inch greased bread pans and cover with a towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise until doubled, about 1½ hours. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. If you like glaze loaves while warm with a mix of powdered sugar, a little milk, butter, and vanilla. Toasted almonds or walnuts can be added, if desired. Makes 2 loaves.

Note: You can also refrigerate the dough after kneading it if you would prefer. Just place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Roll and shape dough into braids when cold from the fridge.  Rise, covered, until doubled in bulk, about 2-3 hours. Bake as directed.

Note: You can also place loaves on a greased baking sheet for a longer, flatter bread rather than in loaf pan.

Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

If you never made your own Pumpernickel bread you might be surprised at some of the ingredients. Besides the rye flour the dark color and unique flavor are from the addition of molasses, cocoa powder and coffee. The sad fact is that much of the Pumpernickel bread you see in stores doesn’t have most of these ingredients, but artificial color and flavor. Real pumpernickel bread is a little dense, chewy and very flavorful. Well worth the effort to make it.

 

Pumpernickel Bread

2 Packages active dry yeast
½ c. warm water
2 c. lukewarm strong coffee
¼ c. each molasses and unsweetened cocoa
2T. Caraway seeds
2 t. salt
5-6 c. flour
2 c. rye flour
Cornmeal
1 egg white, slightly beaten

In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in coffee, molasses, cocoa, seeds, salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat with wooden spoon about 2 minutes. Stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining regular flour to make soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.
Punch down dough, divide in 2, and form into balls. Place on baking sheet and cover. Let rise until double, brush with egg whites, slash tops and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Herb Breads

Herb Breads

Herb Breads

One of the benefits about baking your own bread is the aroma. The house gets filled with the most wonderful smells. In this case the experience is even better because the breads I baked are filled with herbs so those fragrances are also in the mix. I like to make these loaves in braids and place them on a baking sheet- but they could just as easily be baked in bread pans for more traditional loaves. Great for sandwiches I like to toast some of this bread and use as croutons or as a base for stuffing.

Judi’s Herb Braids

5 ½ -6 ½ c. flour
2 packages quick rising yeast
¼ c. sauteed shallots
2 T. each dried marjoram and parsley
1 T. each dried oregano and minced garlic
1 T. honey
2 t. dried thyme
2 t. salt
¼ c. olive oil
2 ¼ c. hot water

In a mixing bowl combine 2 c. of flour with the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Beat with electric mixer 4 minutes then add 1-cup additional flour and beat 1 minute longer. Stir in flour ½ cup at a time until soft dough forms. Turn onto surface and knead, adding flour gradually until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly greased bowl and turn to cover. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Turn dough onto surface and cut in half. Cut each half into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Loosely braid three ropes together and repeat with the remaining dough. Place on greased baking sheet and cover until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 2.

Variation: Whole wheat: Add 2 cups of whole-wheat flour to replace 2 cups of white flour. Also try adding ¼ c. of wheat germ, oat bran or 2 tablespoons of seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, etc.)
Regular yeast can be used, but rising times will be longer and water should be warm, not hot.

 

Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread

A lot of us want to eat more whole grains, but are unhappy when we try to make 100% whole wheat bread at home. There is a secret to baking whole wheat bread that is tender and slices easily. Whole wheat flour, high in gluten, also is high in fibers which make it harder to get the gluten to that stretchy state. If you knead whole wheat bread dough for 5- 10 minutes, like white bread dough, you’ll have a dough that is far from elastic. The secret? Knead it longer. I knead my whole wheat bread dough about 20 minutes. That is easy if you have it in a stand mixer. Just set it on low and let the dough hook do the work. Not so easy if you are kneading by hand. When kneading for 20 minutes, more and more flour gets added to the dough to keep it from sticking. The extra flour results in a heavy dough and a loaf of  bread that is best used as a door stop.  If you have to knead by hand- knead on a wet surface. The dough won’t stick to your hands or the board and you can knead it long enough to get a properly worked dough. How do you know your dough has been worked long enough? Hold the dough up to light and pull it. It should stretch thin enough so that you can see the light through it, without tearing. Here is one of several recipes I have for 100% whole wheat bread. I love it and I think you will, too.

 

100% Whole Wheat Bread

2 packets active dry yeast
2 2/3 c. warm water
½ c. oil
½ c. honey, molasses or maple syrup
6 ½ -7 c. whole wheat flour
½ c. non fat dry milk
2½ t. salt

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir in 3 cups of the flour the dry milk and the salt. Beat with electric mixer for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour for mixture to form a thick batter and continue mixing on low in mixer for 15-20 minutes. Dough takes time to become elastic. Add extra flour slowly until dough comes away from the sides of the work bowl, but not too soon. Note: if you must do this by hand add flour until dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl and knead with wet hands on wet work surface for 15-20 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl and cover, allowing to rise until puffy, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place in a lightly greased 9×5 – inch pan. Brush top with oil and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top. Allow to rise until doubled. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Tent with foil after 20 minutes to prevent over browning of the top. Test for doneness by removing bread from pan and thumping on the bottom. Bread should sound hollow. Makes 2.

Challah Bread

Challah Bread

Challah Bread

This is one of the first breads I learned to make when I was a kid. After the hundreds of other breads I have made, this is still a sentimental favorite. I baked the braided loaves on a baking sheet this time, but you can also bake them in  9×5 inch loaf pans.

Challah

2 c. hot water
1 T. each sugar, salt and oil
1 package active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water
About 8 cups flour
2 beaten eggs
Poppy or sesame seeds, optional
In large bowl combine hot water, salt, sugar and oil. Dissolve yeast in warm water in small bowl and add to oil/water mix. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and eggs, reserving 2 tablespoons of the eggs for later. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make soft dough. When dough pulls away from sides of bowl remove to floured surface. Knead dough, adding flour as necessary about 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll three of the pieces into 12- inch ropes. Place on a greased baking sheet or in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush loaves with reserved eggs and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes in loaf pans, a little less time on baking sheets. When done, loaves will be nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Makes 2 loaves.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. But I confess to making Irish soda bread all through the year. It is easy and so good. Right from the oven with some butter and jam. Yum.

Irish Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg. Beaten

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow. Makes 1.   

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

I had a special request from my brother for this bread. He was going to watch the Super Bowl with some friends and wanted to bring this Pepperoni Pizza Bread. I was happy to make it for him. It may be too late to make this for the Super Bowl but it’s always a good time for pizza, right? I made a double batch of the dough so I would have 2 loaves. Here is the recipe.  

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

3 ¼ c. flour

1 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 package quick-rising yeast

1 c. hot water

1 T. oil

Extra oil for brushing on the dough

1/2 c. marinara sauce

6 oz. mozzarella or provolone cheese

2 oz. sliced pepperoni, about

Set aside 1 cup of the flour. Combine remaining flour with the other dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in water and oil and gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle about 16 x 8. Brush with oil down center middle of dough. Top with sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Cut one-inch wide strips of dough from filling to edge on both sides. It will sort of look like fringe.  Alternating sides, fold strips up and over the filling at an angle.  Carefully lift loaf onto greased baking sheet and place at an angle. Cover with a towel and place sheet on top of a roasting pan half-filled with simmering water for 15 minutes. Bake in a preheated 400-degree for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers. Makes one loaf.

Fold dough over fillings

Fold dough over fillings

Note: The variations for this bread are almost endless. Some favorite combinations are ham and Swiss with mustard, roast beef and cheddar, chicken, broccoli and cheese, spinach with ricotta or feta and onions, curried veggies . You get the idea. Use your imagination and have fun. Just be careful not to overfill, or the bread will be hard to move, use fillings that aren’t too runny and always use cold fillings.

If you want to use regular yeast use warm, rather than hot water.  After kneading cover dough and let rise 45 minutes. Punch down and assemble as in original recipe. Cover with a towel and let rise until dough looks puffy, about 40 minutes. Bake as directed above. These breads can also be frozen.