Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mom's Whole Wheat Bread

I made a few small adjustments to this but there's no real taste difference - I'll explain later. I remember my mom would make this only a few times a year. However, she would get out her heavy duty wheat grinder and grind her hard red winter wheat from the LDS Cannery. Then she'd mix up batch after batch of this recipe until all the countertops were full of loaves of bread. She'd slice them with her electric bread slicer (yep, I have one too) and bag them and put them in the extra freezer for later enjoyment. The house smelled wonderful when we came home from school. Don't you love how memories can flood your mind when you enjoy food? Now when I make this, the first loaf gets eaten within 5 minutes. I try to give one or two away and the last loaf is to save for the next day's sandwiches or eggs & toast breakfast.

Mom’s Whole Wheat Bread
Karen’s version of Joyce McCown’s recipe

In medium bowl combine:
5 tsp. yeast, ½ cup warm water, and 1 Tbs. honey. Set aside. I know this is just to proof the yeast and that I could probably just add it later but I like to stick with tradition.

In Bosch mixer, with dough hook, combine:
5 cups Whole Wheat flour (I use hard red winter wheat), 3 cups white flour, 5 cups hot water, and 1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (my optional add-in)
Mix for 10 minutes to make gluten work and to allow yeast to rise.

In another medium bowl combine:
2 beaten eggs (those poor eggs), ½ cup canola oil, 1/3 cup honey (if you buy some from your area it will actually help relieve your allergies - cool, huh?), 1 Tbs. salt, and 2 Tbs. lemon juice (I found that this is a natural dough enhancer that helps the wheat rise). Mix and combine with wheat/water mixture in Bosch. Add yeast mixture. Scrape down sides. Gradually add 2 ½ cups wheat flour and 2 ½ cups white flour. Mix for 5 minutes to knead. Take out of Bosch and put into a large, greased bowl. Cover with warm, damp towel and let rise till double (1 hour where I'm at). After 1 hour, turn oven on to warm setting. With greased hands, punch down dough and form into 4 loaves, brush tops with PAM as well and let rise in pans till double (30 minutes in warm oven). Leave the pans in the oven and turn it from warm to 350 degrees for 30 minutes more. Remove from oven after cooking time then brush tops with butter and wrap in towels for softer crust.

It may look difficult at first but once you get used to making it, it's a breeze. I don't even need to look at the recipe anymore. Besides, what's better than to walk in your home and smell bread baking?

My daddy likes his with honey. My oldest son likes his with strawberry or raspberry jam, no butter. My Nana liked hers with sliced sharp cheddar on top and toasted. My grandma would put a thin layer of peanut butter on hers. The rest of them like it with butter. I'm good with any of the above because it reminds of those people I love. What do you like to put on your homemade bread?

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