Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

Hey everyone!  Here we are, in the Midwest, minding our own business and enjoying some cooler fall weather--when all of a sudden---IT SNOWED TODAY!  Ufda.  Totally not ready for that kind of weather.  Fortunately, it was wet enough that nothing stuck to the ground. 
But a cold and damp day like today always gets me in the mood to bake and today was no exception.
I toyed with a few different options and decided on this:

Whole Wheat Bread!

Like most of you, we try to stick with a budget when it comes to our grocery shopping.  I usually spend about $130 per week to feed our family of 5.  When I am at the grocery store, I am always frustrated at how much a loaf of bread costs!  Seriously, a good quality, whole wheat loaf is at least $4-$5!  Wowza.  Homemade bread DOES take some time to make, but it is so worth it.  This recipe will make 4 loaves and they freeze beautifully.  Once you taste it, you will not believe the difference.  Plus, you know what ingredients are in this bread--NO preservatives or chemicals or anything fake. 

Take a look at this sad looking recipe card:
Shows you how much I've used it......AND spilled on it!  :-)  It is my late mother-in-law's recipe.  I have tried many other whole wheat bread variations, and I keep coming back to this one for it's texture, little bit of sweetness with the brown sugar, and the fact that it makes 4 loaves.  If you are going to the work to make homemade bread, you might as well get 4 loaves out if it instead of 1.

Whole Wheat Bread
In a very large bowl (this makes a LOT of dough)  dissolve 2 packages yeast (one package=2 1/4 tsp) in 4 cups of very warm water.  Add 4 t. salt, 4 T. white sugar, and 4 cups of white all purpose flour ( I use unbleached).
Set this in a warm place and cover with a tea towel.  Let rest for 20 minutes.  It will get bubby.

In another bowl, place 1 cup hot water, 5 T. Crisco, and 1 cup packed brown sugar.  Microwave for 2 minutes, then stir to dissolve shortening.  Set aside to cool (lukewarm at least or it will kill your yeast when you mix it together)

When mixture is cooled, add it to the bubbly flour mixture.  Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 4 cups of white flour.  Mix to incorporate.  The dough will still be pretty sticky.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead it until it is easy to handle.  You may need to add a bit more flour. 

Put in a greased bowl and let rise 45 minutes in a warm place.

Punch dough down and shape into 4 loaves.  Put in pans and let raise 1 hour in warm place.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.  When the top sounds hollow when you tap on it, they are done!

You must try this for toast in the morning and it makes the world's best grilled cheese sammie!

I hope you will give this a try!  Don't be afraid of working with yeast.  Show it who is boss--I know you can do it!

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