Baking with wheat and loving it!

Wholesome Bread I used to be a junk food/white flour addict.  I didn’t quite understand the rave about whole grains and whole wheat food.  And I definitely wondered about those people that preferred whole wheat over white floured products.  They must have something terribly wrong with their taste buds.   But alas I have joined forces with the “lacking taste buds” group and now LOVE whole wheat products.   It all started when I bought some wheat berries for food storage.  Since I had them, I decided that I better figure out a way to eat them, thus starting my whole wheat adventure.  This is what I have learned–

Crock Pot wheat berries (These can be substituted for ground beef in tacos, spaghetti, soups, etc..   You can also eat them for breakfast with fruit, honey, and butter)   

Combine 2 cups wheat berries and 6 cups water in a crock pot.  Cook overnight on low.

I freeze the cooked berries in 1 cup portion sizes and use them in recipes that call for 1 lb of ground beef.  I still use half a pound of meat in addition to the wheat berries.

Now for my favorite.  I have spent the last five or more years trying to figure out the art of baking wheat bread.  Trust me I have had many flops, but I have finally mastered it and the best part is that it only takes me an hour from start to finish to bake 5 loaves.  I got this recipe from my church and it is widely used and loved by many.

Whole wheat bread– Bosch Mixer Batch

1/2 C oil 1 C oats (optional -I use)
6 C warm water 2 T wheat gluten (optional – I don’t use)
1 1/2 T salt 4 T dough enhancer (optional – I don’t use)
1/2 to 1 c honey 1/2 C milk powder (optional – I use)
3 T yeast 14-17 C whole wheat flour

Combine first 9 ingredients and 6 cups flour.  Mix well.  Slowly add remaining flour until dough begins to pull away from sides of mixer.  (Dough should still be sticky at first–whole wheat flour will continue to absorb water as it kneads.) Let knead for 8-10 minutes.  Form dough into 4-6 loaves (I do 5) and place in pans.  Cover and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (I actually bake mine for 17 minutes).  My oven does bake fast but I also think the time in the recipe is too long.

After I take the bread out to cool I follow my sister-in-laws advise and freeze the bread while it is still warm.  This helps keep it moist.

Kitchen Aid Mixer Batch

2 1/2 C warm water 4 tsp wheat gluten
2 1/2 tsp salt 3 tsp dough enhancer (optional)
2 T oil 1/2 C oats (optional)
2-4 T honey 1/8 C milk powder (optional)
2 1/2 tsp yeast 7-9 C whole wheat flour

Use the same instructions as the Bosch batch.  This batch will only make 2 loaves.

Now get out some butter and jam and try not to eat a whole loaf in one sitting!

rachelA Mom Knows Contributor

About Rachel

I used to be a nurse, but now I am blessed to stay at home with my three children. While they and my hubby are the bright spots in my life, I also enjoy do it yourself projects, running, shopping (oh how I love to shop), reading, mountain biking, and playing sports with my family.

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