Monday, April 13, 2009

Making Whole Wheat Bread

A member of the church we went to while we were stationed at Ft. Sill Oklahoma (in the mid 1970s) showed me how to make this whole wheat bread. I wish I could remember her name.

This bread is not small nor light. It is a heavy (each loaf probably weighs in at 2 or more pounds) whole wheat delight to go with any meal.... especially when sliced thick, warmed and slathered with butter or your favorite buttery spread. We grind our own wheat, but store-bought whole wheat flour works. Dough Enhancer can be used to make a lighter bread texture and the bread is suppose to have a longer shelf life. I like heavy bread, so doubt I will ever try a dough enhancer.

Frank and I made this bread last Thursday. The recipe can be found over at my Recipe Blog.

Right click on the pictures to open in a new window or tab for a larger view... that way you don't have to reload this page.

Grinding the Wheat

In goes the wheat into the grinder.
There is some venison stew cooking in the slow cooker. The stew is served over a piece of whole wheat bread that has been topped with cheddar cheese .

The grains go down the whole and between the stones and are finely ground.

Then it is sifted and the grain's bran will be used for cereal... sorry forgot to take a picture of that part.

Mixing the Dough
The yeast is proofing nicely.

The ingredients are mixed together with the dough hook...

... just until the dough can be handled. Then it is turned out onto a well-floured (at this point we use all purpose flour.. it makes for a lighter bread) counter top. (which has been thoroughly cleaned beforehand) If you have a commercial grade mixer it may handle the kneading, but it is so satisfying to knead bread and bang it on the counter top.

It is kneaded for five minutes... banging on the counter a few times to get one's frustrations out

The dough is then divided into two balls and placed in oiled bowls (Frank sprayed the bowls with a spray oil... like Pam. I usually just wipe the bowls with oil) and turned to coat the tops.

Tea towels are placed on top of the bowls and the bowls placed in a warm place. (I sometimes preheat the oven to 200° and then turn off the oven and place a pan with hot water on the lower rack and place the dough bowls on the mid rack)

Wait about an hour for the dough to double in size.

Shaping the Dough
Divide the dough evenly into three balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle. Not much bigger than what is shown below... a hand and a half or so. This process pretty much eliminates those holes in bread that the peanut butter and jelly fall through and makes for a nice grain of bread.

I do have another rolling pin, it is large and awkward for me. This old one does not have its handles any more, but it does the job. The handles are safely packed away in a drawer.

Roll into a log shape pinching the dough as you go. Right click on the picture to open in a new window or tab to see a larger view. See my fingers pinching the dough together? I hope you can.

Pinch together the seams and turn the ends of the loaves under and pinch those seams together to seal too.

Place formed loaves into lightly greased large loaf pans... seam side down. Frank formed the loaf on the far left. He smooshed the dough down flat after putting it in the pan. It is okay to do, but the end of the dough tends to hang over the side of the pan when the product is finished baking and making it more difficult to remove from the pan. If you are using the dark coated pans you will probably have to lower the oven temperature according to the manufacturer's suggestions. We bought some of those pans and I hate them. I'd rather use my old dented and scratched pans.

Let rise in a warm place... again a warm oven with a pan with hot water in it will do. The loaf in the foreground below is the one Frank flattened and you can see the dough hangs over a bit after rising.

Baking the Loaves
The loaves need to be covered with foil after the first 10 minutes or when they begin to brown. Ovens differ, so check before ten minutes your first time baking this bread. These loaves still got a bit over-browned on their tops. After baking place bread pans on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes. The bread will come out of the pans easier. Brush melted butter on top or do like I do and rub either butter or something like Smart Balance on the tops. I'm a hands on cook

Now doesn't this remind you of the story of The Little Red Hen...


"Give us this day our daily bread" is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language. -- P.J. Wingate



  1. It must be very rewarding to make such beautiful loaves of bread. Thanks for taking the time to photograph each step. It looks absolutely delicious. Wishing you and Frank a nice week.

  2. That looks great, Zaroga! You make me want to make some and eat it with butter and jelly. Yum!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment!!

    Hope you and Frank have a great week!

  3. Wow! I have NEVER seen bread completely made from scratch like this. This looks wonderful. I think I can smell it! :) My sis and I made some Friendship Bread (it was the 10th day when I was home) when I went home. Im' not very good with yeast but we did good! :)

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  5. M-M-M! I wish we could send smells online! I love the way you shared the steps, too! Great job!

  6. Thank you for this simple recipe and instructions! I'm sure stew on wheat bread slices is heavenly!

  7. Yum!!! I'm going to print this recipe...We grind out own wheat and oats. What kind of grinder do you have?

  8. Your bread looks really good!

  9. Loved hearing about grinding your own wheat. It seems people today go for the easy quick way of preparing food. You know all pre packaged and instant stuff. I used to bake my own bread some times and made beer rocks, which is simply ground beef, cabbage and onions sauted together and a large spoonful of the mixture placed in a rolled out piece of dough and baked. Yum!!
    Mountain Mama


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