Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

A few years ago we went on a weekend camping trip with my in-laws. One morning, my sister-in-law, Shayla, made the yummiest French toast using her homemade whole wheat bread. It seriously was soooo delicious! When I asked her for the recipe, I learned that it had been sitting on a shelf in my kitchen, hiding inside a cookbook that my mother-in-law had given me years earlier. I had recently purchased a wheat grinder and I figured this was a great way to break it in.

I’d made bread on occasion prior to that, but I still felt a little like a fish out of water the first time I attempted this recipe. I must have called Shayla three or four times to ask “is it really supposed to look like this?” as I mushed around near-liquid dough on my countertop. That first attempt was nothing short of a disaster, and I vowed I would never use that recipe again. But, visions of yummy French toast danced in my head until I decided to give it one more shot. I knew what not to do, so I embarked on my second attempt armed with a few ideas on how to make my bread a success. And, it WAS a success! AND, I get compliments on it all. the. time. Without further ado, here is the recipe for the most delicious whole wheat bread you’ll ever eat! (my own two cents are in red).

**For those who need a little extra hand-holding like I did my first time around, a picture tutorial is available HERE

Whole Wheat Bread
(credit goes to Myra Holt, who submitted this recipe to the Thatcher-Penrose 1st Ward Cookbook)

1/2 cup warm water
2 TB yeast (I use active dry for this recipe)
12 cups whole wheat flour (I don’t measure any of the flour anymore, other than the 7 cups at the beginning. I just add flour until the consistency is right…slightly sticky.)
5 cups hot water
1 cup powdered milk (optional, but I always use it)
2/3 cup cooking oil
2/3 cup honey
2 TB salt
2 eggs (optional, but I always add it as well)
I also throw in a cup of ground flax to increase the fiber content. You’ll use a little less flour if you add the flax. Adding flax ups the nutritional content of your bread, but won’t affect the taste at all. If you use golden flax, you can barely even see it in your baked bread. I’ve also found that it helps keep my bread more moist.

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and set aside. Combine and beat 7 cups of flour, powedered milk and 5 cups hot water for ten minutes (this is a very important step to develop gluten). Add oil, honey, salt, and eggs and beat until blended. Add yeast mixture and blend. Then add 5 cups of flour. Mix by hand (I don’t do this yet…the dough is still way too sticky for me at this point, so I add several cups more flour while it’s still in my KitchenAid…once it’s not too sticky to handle, I take it out to knead by hand and it usually takes about 1 cup of flour during hand kneading to get it to the right consistencey). Let rise. Punch down and knead for about 3 minutes. Let rise again. Punch down and divide into loaves. Let rest 10 minutes and shape into loaves. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes longer. Makes 4 loaves.

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