Thursday, January 14, 2010

Basic Whole Wheat Bread

10 cups Prairie Gold wheat berries (ground makes about 14-15 cups flour)
6 cups moderately hot water (about 110 degrees-very hot tap water)
2/3 cups oil
2/3 cups honey
3 T SAF yeast
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1/8 tsp. vitamin C crystals
2 T salt

Pour water, oil, honey, enough freshly milled flour for the mixture to look like oatmeal (6 cups or so), and yeast into Bosch mixer. Mix well & let sponge (sit) for about 15 minutes while the yeast dissolves & gets active.

Add 2 tablespoons salt and gluten. Begin to add more flour a little at a time until you see it begin to clean the sides of the bowl and the dough is tacky to touch. As it mixes, the dough will stiffen, so don’t add too much flour. (You can add water if you have too much flour) Let your Bosch run on speed 2 for about 6 minutes. With just a little bit of oil on your fingers, test a ball of dough to see if it stretches without immediately tearing. When it will thin out upon pulling like this, the gluten is developed and it's ready. Preheat your oven to it's lowest setting (about 200 degrees) for about 5 minutes then turn off your oven. Divide your dough into 6 loaves and place into prepared pans.

Let the bread rise in the warm oven for 20 minutes, then pull out and heat your oven to 350 degrees. Carefully move loaves back into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. I like to use a thermometer to determine done-ness. Bread is done at 180 degrees.

(If you have a convection oven, you don't need to remove the loaves after the 20 minute rise--just turn your oven on to 350 and leave them in the oven)

Immediately invert loaves onto cooling racks and leave until they are completely cool. Place in bags. Enjoy the first slice right away, then store some loaves in the freezer. This bread keeps well for a couple weeks frozen. NEVER put your bread in the fridge!! It dries it out quickly doing this. Just keep it out on your counter in its bag for all to enjoy!

**You will have flour left over. Keep in the freezer to retain freshness and use for pancakes sometime later in the week! Or use for your next batch of bread, but be sure and warm it to room temp before adding into your dough.

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