Basic 100% whole wheat bread recipe (with 10 variations including MONKEY BREAD)

November 30, 2011
If you were to live only on your basic food storage, this will be your “staff of life” (with a nice lumpy glass of powdered milk, of course!) This makes two loaves
Feel free to post your own favorite recipe on the comments!
Easy,Basic, Tasty whole wheat bread.
I make this recipe in my Kitchenaid mixer. I have a 600 “professionl” and use a dough hook. I add all ingredients in order and then mix on ‘2’ for 10 minutes. I usually stop it and scrape down the sides after about one minute.

 2 Tablespoons dry yeast (I use instant that I buy in 1 pound packs)
2 Tablespoons sugar
 2 1/2  cups luke warm water. (that’s baby bath temperature. Too hot, you kill the yeast, too cool, it’s very slow acting)
 1/2 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil, (I use canola)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten (I use Honeywell that I buy on
1/2 teaspoon vitamin C powder or three crushed vitamin C tablets. (also bought online. A little goes a long way and I use it for cosmetics, too.)
(These last two ingredients give the bread the springy, delightful texture that makes restaurant bread so special)
Add 5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour. (I use white wheat. It doesn’t seem to cause gas like the red wheat does for us)
knead with dough hook 10 minutes on ‘2’, scraping down once.
If you’re doing this by hand, knead about 300 folds until well mixed and “stretchy” in consistency. Use as little flour as possible to make a good dough.
Let rest a few minutes and then divide in half. Shape into a loaf and slam onto counter several times. (Pro’s say this helps gluten to form bonds and improves texture.)
Place in greased bread pans. Cover with a damp dishtowel to keep the dough from crusting.  Let rise till triple (about an hour). If the weather’s cold, I put them in a slightly warm oven to rise.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

You may also want to try adding:
 If you don’t have the gluten powder, double the oil. The consistency won’t be a good, but it’s still MIGHTY nice.

 a 1/2 cup of ground flax seed and reducing the flour (This adds omega 3 fatty acids. . .hard to get unless you eat a lot of fatty fish. .  .)

and/or grind up a cup or two of oatmeal in your blender and mix in with the wheat flour. (bread will be a little more crumbly)

and/or stir in a couple of eggs

and/or stir in a cup of milk powder before the oil

or half and half wheat and white flour makes a softer, (but less nutritious bread)
if using red wheat flour, I recommend using 2-3 cups of white bread-flour or all-purpose flour.

and/or for a moister bread toss in a cup of potato flakes before the flour

and/or add a Tablespoon of cinnamon and a cup of raisins before flour.

Or when forming the bread, roll out, to 1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins and a little sugar. roll up into loaf, and press into pan.

OR roll little dough balls in butter and cinnamon and sugar and press into pan, let rise, for monkey bread. Bake as above Sprinkle whole with extra butter and brown sugar.

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  • Reply Rob and Marseille December 2, 2011 at 1:46 am

    so that makes 4 loaves, then?

  • Reply Anonymous July 21, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Beth, Do you remember me, Marie, we were visiting teaching partners in Black Forest? I have been trying to make whole wheat bread in my bread machine with not much success. Then I remembered that you used to make it by hand and I dug around til I found your recipe, similar to this one. I made it without the machine and made wonderful loaves of bread. I'm glad I found your recipe.

  • Reply Beth M. Stephenson August 6, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Marie, I'm so glad your bread turned out well. Of course I remember you!

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