Problem: we all love whole wheat bread and know that it is healthiest if homemade, but too many homemade whole-wheat loaves look, taste, and feel like bricks!
The Amish have always known the secret: to make a soft whole wheat loaf, you have to use more oil and more sugar. The sugar activates the yeast and makes the dough rise higher, and the oil keeps the bread soft (baguettes, on the other hand, use very little oil). Health nuts who worry about added fat and sugar should weigh the benefits of getting kids to eat whole grain breads that taste good versus kids refusing to eat rock-hard bread that is healthier! 🙂
Also, this recipe requires you to let the dough rise twice, rather than adding processed gluten. Bread manufacturers routinely dump tons of processed gluten into their dough instead of waiting for it to rise (the gluten–aka GLUE–makes the dough go POOF almost instantly) which can cause migraines or make children sensitive even allergic to wheat. But wheat kernels have natural, healthy gluten in them already; you jsut have to let it rise twice for the gluten to “awaken.”
Here’s my recipe:
Super-Soft 100% Whole Wheat Bread (4 loaves)
4 cups warm water
1 and 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons yeast
*Combine these ingredients in the bowl of a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. Pulse to mix, then let sit for a few minutes until foamy. Then add:
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (can substitute dough enhancer or lecithin)
12 cups fresh-ground flour
3 teaspoons salt
*Let the Bosch knead all ingredients together for about ten minutes, then place resulting dough into a large bowl, coated with canola cooking spray. Cover with a light dish towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm location. Let it rise until double (30 min-hour depending on room temp), then punch down and let it rise a second time. Then punch the dough down again and shape into four loaves. Let those loaves rise again, then bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.