So with that in mind, I knew I had to try it: Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I love to bake bread and since all I ever use is whole grains, I knew this was right up my alley! It was super easy to make. I didn't have any problems at all! Best of all, it didn't take any extra gluten, vitamin C or dough enhancer! It only used basic ingredients! No wonder it was the recipe of the year!
As usual, I listed the recipe with my comments. If you want to see the original recipe, you can do that here.
Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
1 - 1/8 cup lukewarm water ( I used 1 cup, mine was a bit warmer than lukewarm.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil.)
1/4 cup honey, molasses or maple syrup (I used molasses.)
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used hard white wheat flour that I made myself from hard white wheat berries.)
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast or 1 packet active dry yeast (I used 3 tsp instant yeast.)
1/4 cup powdered milk (I used powdered whole milk. The brand name is Nido, I got it at the big box store.)
1 1/4 tsp salt (I used slightly over 1 tsp salt.)
I started by proofing the yeast. It is instant yeast, so it doesn't need proofing but I did it anyway. I measured the 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of molasses. Then, I poured some of the water and molasses into another measuring cup, stirred a bit, and added the yeast.
I set that aside and added all the other ingredients into a large bowl. While I started stirring with a spoon, I quickly realized the spoon wasn't needed and started kneading in the bowl with my hands. When the yeast was ready, I added it and kneaded a bit more. At this point, it was quite sticky. The instructions say to let it sit for 30 minutes so the flour can absorb the water. I turned it out on to a piece of freezer paper and set the timer for 30 minutes.
The 30 minute wait made all the difference in the world! It was no longer sticky! The instructions said to grease your hands before you start kneading, so I did. However, I am not sure it was needed. The dough didn't stick to my hands, the freezer paper or anything else for that matter. As per the instructions, I kneaded for 8 minutes. Then I cleaned the same bowl I mixed it in and lighted greased it. I placed the dough in the bowl for the first rise.
I covered mine with a dish towel and place it in the oven to rise (just to get it out of the way). The instructions stated it should take between 1 to 2 hours to rise, mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes. My apologies here, I forgot to take a picture after the first rise! Even though the instructions said it may not double in size, mine did. Roll the dough into an 8 inch log. (I measured mine to be sure it was 8 inches.) Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch pan (I used olive oil PAM) and place the dough in the pan.
Lightly cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has been greased. (I used olive oil PAM here too.) The second rise was supposed to take 1 to 2 hours as well, but mine only took 45 minutes.
After I carefully removed the plastic wrap, I baked it in the kitchen oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. The instructions said to tent it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes, and I did. No chance to use the Sun Oven, I made this bread during the big snowstorm on Tuesday. This is what mine looked like when it was done.
I turned it out onto a cooling rack and brushed it with butter. (Butter keeps the crust soft.) Sometimes I like a crunchy crust so I won't always brush with butter, but this loaf was for sandwiches so I really wanted the crust to stay soft.
Overall, you could not ask for an easier recipe, or better flavored bread! The only regret I have is I didn't make two loaves!