100% Whole Wheat Bread
Our family now has a favorite 100% whole wheat bread recipe. And when I say “family,” I mean the cat, too.
Yes. He showed his love for this bread by gouging out a meal about the size of a naval orange while the Omnivore and I were sleeping. He is a mischievous fellow and apparently a carb-lover like his mama.
I’d been contemplating making this bread for awhile now and have been gradually acquiring the ingredients to do so.
Yeah. There are some weird ingredients in this bread recipe: orange juice, instant mashed potatoes, dry milk. Certainly not normal pantry-fellows around here. But now that I know how much the cat loves we love this bread, I know that these oddball ingredients will not go to waste.
King Arthur Flour’s website describes this loaf as follows:
Moist, easy to slice, and 100% whole wheat? No, these are NOT contradictory phrases! This whole-wheat loaf is the ideal everyday bread, perfect for sandwiches, toast, and French toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.
This bread truly is soft and pliable. It has great “lift” and will rival any storebought loaf of whole wheat bread.
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup orange juice
5 tablespoons melted butter (I used smartbutter)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
Use 2 tablespoons less water in summer (or in a humid environment), 2 tablespoons more in winter (or in a dry climate).
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes, till it becomes puffy. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
Combine the yeast/water with the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you’ve made a cohesive dough. If you’re using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 7 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like dough made with all-purpose flour; it’ll feel more like clay under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it’s expanded and looks somewhat puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer, which in turn will rise faster and higher than one kneaded by hand. So if you’re kneading by hand, you may want to let the dough rise longer than 90 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and settle it into the pan, smooth side up.
Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it’s crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4″, about 75 minutes. Don’t let it rise too high; it’ll continue to rise as it bakes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.
Run a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.