This is stick-to-your-ribs, whole wheat goodness. We enjoy it fresh, toasted, as a bread stuffing, as baked croutons, shaped into sandwich buns, and for breakfast as French Toast. This is a weekly staple in our house. And is there any smell more wonderful than homemade bread baking in the oven? You can make guests feel instantly welcome by popping a loaf of this into the oven about 20 minutes before they arrive. The aroma will make them feel warm and cozy the moment they walk through your door.
- 4 cups - whole wheat flour
- 3 Tbs - brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 Tbs - instant yeast
- 1 tsp - salt
- 1 2/3 cups - warm water (110 °F - 120 °F)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together all the ingredients except the water. Attach the flat paddle to the mixer, and with mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the water. Continue mixing until all the water is absorbed and there is no flour left on the bottom of the bowl. Remove the flat paddle, cover the bowl, and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and knead on low speed, or the speed that your mixer instructions recommend, for 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid to seal in the warmth. Set aside in a warm, draft-free location, and allow the dough to double in size, about 45 minutes.
- Gently deflate the dough by pushing your fist into it several times. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in an 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and allow the loaf to double in size, about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 °F. When the loaf has doubled in size, bake it for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Homemade bread dough can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated before baking. After the first rising in the bowl, punch down the dough as usual, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. When ready, shape the dough, let it rise until doubled, and bake as per the instructions above.
- If doubling this recipe, cut back on the water by about 1/4 cup until you see if it's needed.
- This bread freezes beautifully. Simply wrap the baked loaf in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag, and freeze. To thaw, leave the bread in its wrapping and bag, and place it on the kitchen counter to thaw.
- Sprouted whole wheat flour, available online if your grocery store doesn't carry it, makes a softer bread. If you're not used to the hardiness of whole grain flour, sprouted whole grain flour might be a good place to start.
Nutrition (per serving): 163 calories, 83% calories from carbohydrates, 13% calories from protein, 4% calories from fat, 5.6g fiber.