Annually for Christmas, my mother-in-law bakes loaves upon loaves of sandwich bread and offers them to her 5 youngsters as items. I really like all the things about this. I do know the time she has invested into making selfmade bread. I worth her effort and cherish it immensely. And it tastes scrumptious, too.
I may record 100 the explanation why baking bread at house is a good suggestion. Chief amongst them is that your home won’t ever odor extra comforting or homey than when a loaf of bread is rising to golden perfection in your oven.
All the opposite causes just like the delicate nutty taste and added fiber in your weight-reduction plan are good, too, however oh, my phrase, the odor of freshly baked bread is to an grownup what petting a kitten is to baby—all consolation and love. That nostalgia is tough to beat.
MY ADAPTATION: WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
My mother-in-law’s bread is made with lard, water, granulated sugar, and white all-purpose flour. It yields a loaf that’s tall and mushy, but sturdy.
For my model of this recipe, I needed to make a complete wheat sandwich bread with a mushy crumb and light-weight however sturdy texture. I’ve tailored my mother-in-law’s recipe through the use of a mixture of complete wheat flour and bread flour. I’ve additionally substituted unsalted butter for the lard, and changed the water in her recipe with milk.
Almost 30 kilos of flour and 18 loaves of bread later, the result’s a sliceable sandwich loaf that’s tender and barely chewy with a golden crust that’s simply thick sufficient so as to add physique, however not so thick my youngsters insist I reduce it off.
To this point, I’ve made PB&J, chilly turkey sandwiches, grilled cheese, French toast, stuffed French toast and common toast with butter and jam. The bread has held up superbly in each circumstance.
EASY HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
You may make this complete wheat bread, too. It’s simpler than you assume.
Begin within the morning, and you’ll have two loaves of freshly baked bread cooling in your countertop by lunch. It solely takes 20 minutes of hands-on time. The remaining is simply rising and baking.
EXPERIMENTING TO FIND THE PERFECT LOAF
In an try and make this recipe as simple and foolproof as attainable, I attempted numerous starters, yeasts, sugars, liquids, and flours.
- For my yeast experiments, I made a decision to make use of Energetic Dry Yeast as an alternative of On the spot Speedy Rise as a result of I felt like the moment yeast made the loaves rise too shortly and sometimes resulted in over-proofed loaves. Winner, winner, bread for dinner!
- On to sweeteners! I made variations of bread with granulated sugar, honey, and molasses for sweetener. I discovered honey offered a delicate sweetness and coloration to the bread I favored. Granulated sugar left the loaves too pale, and molasses too darkish.
- Milk or water? You want liquid to activate Energetic Dry yeast. I exploit milk as an alternative of water as a result of it creates a extra tender crumb. The sugar within the milk additionally contributes to a softer, extra deeply coloured crust. That being mentioned, in case you’re lactose illiberal be happy to make use of water.
- When it got here to flour, I settled on a mixture of complete wheat flour and bread flour. The additional bran in the entire wheat flour can impede rising, which frequently leads to a dense loaf of bread. Bread flour helps counteract this: it’s greater in protein than all-purpose flour, which helps create a stronger gluten community throughout kneading.
By mixing complete wheat flour and bread flour, I created a nutty-flavored bread with a light-weight and mushy texture, excellent for a sandwich. Be happy to experiment and alter the flour ratios to your liking. Understand that complete wheat flour reacts otherwise than bread flour. In the event you alter the flour ratios you may additionally have to experiment with the quantity of moisture you add to the dough.
HOW TO KNEAD THE DOUGH
In terms of bread, hydration is sweet. I are likely to err on the aspect of a wetter dough just because it’s simpler so as to add extra flour to dough than it’s so as to add extra water.
If the dough feels too moist whenever you knead, use a bench scraper to assist scrape the dough off the counter. Mud the counter and your fingers with a tablespoon of bread flour at a time till the dough feels cheesy, however not sticky.
If the dough finally ends up feeling dry and is troublesome to knead, you’ll be able to add extra moisture by sprinkling your kneading floor with water as in case you have been dusting it with flour. Then knead within the water. It’s troublesome to knead slimy dough, nonetheless, so use solely a bit of water at a time.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE BREAD DOUGH HAS RISEN
The formed loaves are prepared for the oven once they have doubled in measurement and you’ll contact the highest or make a small reduce with a paring knife with out the dough collapsing.
If it collapses, the dough has over proofed. On this circumstance, you are able to do considered one of two issues:
- Bake it anyway and use it for strata, bread pudding, French toast, or croutons.
- Or you’ll be able to punch it down, and let it rise for a 3rd time. The third rising doesn’t all the time work, however given your circumstances, it could be price a shot.
If all else fails, cry a bit of. Then begin once more. It’s solely bread. Likelihood is your loved ones will eat it even when it isn’t excellent. (Talking from expertise right here. Ahem.)
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE BREAD
In case your day will get away from you and also you don’t have time to bake your loaves, simply cowl the bowl and place the dough within the fridge for as much as 24 hours. End the remaining steps whenever you’re prepared.
You can too freeze the dough after you’ve completed kneading it, however earlier than you start the primary rise. Right here’s what to do:
- Place the dough in an oiled plastic bag, and attempt to take away as a lot air as attainable, leaving just a bit for enlargement.
- While you’re able to bake, place the frozen dough in a big buttered bowl. Cowl and go away within the fridge for 24 hours. It will function your first rise.
- Take away the dough from the fridge and convey the dough to room temperature in your countertop.
- Punch down. Divide in half. Form into loaves. Place into buttered loaf pans. Let rise once more and bake as directed.
To freeze the baked loaves, permit the bread to chill fully. Wrap the bread in foil, then place it inside a zip-top bag. Take away as a lot air as attainable.
The bread will maintain within the freezer for as much as three months. When able to eat, switch bread from the freezer to the countertop, holding it within the wrapping. It should thaw in about three hours.