Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bread revisited

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet.**

100% Whole Wheat Bread adapted from King Arthur Flour
When I started making bread I intended to try out a bunch of different recipes, but I fell in love with the first one I tried and I haven't been able to try anything else. I vary it slightly, but mostly stick to the same recipe. It's somewhat hard to make a 100% whole wheat bread that rises correctly in a bread machine, so you might as well stick with what works, right?

I should note that this works fabulously in my Zojirushi S15, but doesn't rise nearly as well in Dad's cheap machine (I can't remember what brand he has). If someone is giving away a Zojirushi (which is a very lucky situation that I fell into), take them up on it without hesitation. I think there are cheaper machines that do a good job with whole wheat breads, but I don't have enough experience to give out advice. No matter what machine you use, it will taste great... but if you want a light and fluffy bread, you'll have to acquire a good machine.

100% Whole Wheat Bread (adapted from King Arthur Flour) - for 1 1/2 pound machine

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
3 cups whole white wheat flour
1 Tbsp wheat gluten
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Add all ingredients except walnuts (in this order, or according to your machine's manual) to the pan. Cook on raisin cycle (or the cycle that beeps for adding nuts and fruits). When it beeps, add the walnuts. During the last few minutes of kneading, check on it to see if you need to add more water or flour (the dough should be tacky, but not so sticky that it won't let go of the sides of the pan during kneading). The flour:water ratio will change depending on the humidity that day, so it's a good idea to get in the habit of checking every time you make bread.

I've also used other nuts (pecans or almonds), seeds (sesame or flax), or dried fruits (raisins) in place of the walnuts, and it's always good. My favorite is the walnuts, though. Either way, be prepared to be extremely happy because there's nothing better than the smell of baking bread.

I have every intention of making another loaf by hand, but it's hard to find a day when I'll be home long enough to let it rise. Until then, I'm still enjoying this kind...

Update: I suppose I should tell you how to store this bread. After it's completely cool, I slice it and put the whole thing in the freezer (unless I want to eat some immediately). I've found that it's just as good out of the freezer as it is right after it's cooked (and much better than if it sits out... even if only for a night). Then if I want some immediately, I throw a frozen slice in the toaster. If I want to pack some for lunch, I take it out of the freezer in the morning and it's thawed and ready to eat in about an hour. I've kept some frozen for as long as a month (while I was doing a lot of traveling), and it was still great.


eli said...

Wait... even with the addition of "wheat gluten," this recipe isn't gluten-free?! I'm just glad you posted this before the gluten-realization. I just put in another loaf - this time with flax seeds and cranberries! yum :)

Katie said...

Yeah, I felt a little silly making that obvious statement! Just making sure nobody gets confused, though. I'm glad you're still enjoying it, and your additions sound great! I've been looking through gluten-free bread recipes this afternoon, and once I can find some sorghum flour, I'll try one out and hopefully return to bread making. Until then, eat tons for me :)