Confession: whenever I see a Rockin' Body commercial I think to myself "Those people look so in shape and like they're having so much fun! If I buy that maybe I can look like that too! And have fun dancing!" And then I remember my unused Flirty Girl Fitness DVD's....*sigh*
Since I'm apparently allergic to exercise, I...ya know...try to make small changes to keep stuff under control on this body 'o' mine. Switching to whole wheat is a big move I made, like, a couple years ago (I mean...in some stuff...obviously white flour still has it's place in many baked goods). Mostly this applies to pasta and bread.
Anyway, after I had that nutella & pb sandwich I toldja about, I knew I wanted to make homemade Nutella AND a nice, classic, completely whole wheat sandwich bread. Obviously the first place I turned to was King Arthur Flour for the recipe-and they did not disappoint.
This pretty darn easy recipe yields a nice, soft, loaf of bread that is perfect for sandwiches and toasting and spreading good stuff on it. The whole wheat flavor is not overwhelming at all and it's pretty much just the best.
Michael super duper loved this recipe ("it's soft", he commented).
Sometimes you just need some recipes that are classic staples, that you know you're gonna hang on to and use for like...ever. This is one of those. Lurve. I could live on bread. I mean it. That whole "man cannot live on bread alone" thing? Does not apply to me-except for water. I need water too. Moral of the story is I would have fared just fine (food-wise) in an old timey prison.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
From King Arthur Flour
From King Arthur Flour
Makes 1 loaf
Notes from The King Arthur Bakers:
-The amount of water needed varies depending on the season/weather. If it's summer or humid/stormy you'll need less water than if it's winter/dry out/low humidity.
-Molasses produces the darkest loaf with old-fashioned flavor. Honey yields a lighter, milder loaf. Maple syrup makes a less-sweet loaf — unless you use real maple syrup, in which case it'll be similar to a loaf made with honey, but with a faint hint of maple.
-If you tend to taste whole wheat as somewhat bitter, try substituting 1/4 cup of orange juice for 1/4 cup of the water in this recipe. A bit of orange juice tones down whole wheat's somewhat tannic taste.
- 1 to 1 and 1/4 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
- 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
- 3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant yeast or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp. of the water in the recipe
- 1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine all the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. With greased hands (or the dough hook on a mixer, or in a bread machine programmed to dough or manual) knead for 6-8 minutes, until smooth-soft, yet firm enough to knead. Adjust water & flour amounts if necessary.
- Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover loosely with a towel, and let rest in a warm place until puffed up (not necessarily doubled), 1-2 hours.
- Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Shape the risen dough into an 8 in. log and place in the pan. Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. Rest in a warm place for another 1-2 hours, or until the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, tenting aluminum foil over the pan after 20 minutes, to prevent over browning. When finished it will read 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
- Remove from oven and and turn the pan upside down to remove the bread, letting it cool on a wire rack. If desired rub the crust with a stick of butter (for a soft, buttery crust). Cool completely before slicing. Store in a plastic bag at room temperature.