Friday, October 24, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread by hand

3 Loaves:
3 C. warm water
1/3 C. honey
1/3 C. oil
1 T. yeast
1 T. salt
7 C. whole wheat flour

6 Loaves:
6 C. warm water
2/3 C. honey
2/3 C. oil
2 T. yeast
2 T. salt
13 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

*extra flour for later in the recipe, a clock or watch for timing

How to make 100% whole wheat bread by hand:
1. Choose a recipe - 3 or 6 loaves.
2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together into a soft mass of dough.
3. Let the dough rest uncovered for 15 minutes.

4. Place a small amount of whole wheat flour bowl on the table next to where you will be kneading the dough and about 1 T. oil in a small bowl.

5. Pat the spongy mass in your bowl with enough flour to make it unsticky for the moment. Gather as much of the dough as you can from the sides of the bowl and make a few kneading motions before turning the dough onto a very lightly floured table or work space.

6. Using as little flour as possible to keep this dough soft, knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes by hand. Using either a very lightly oiled hand or a floured hand, pat the dough with flour (or oil) as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. During this kneading, there should be a change in the texture of the dough. It will stick more to itself instead of your hands. (you are helping to develop the gluten in the dough, although you will not be able to make a stringy dough with this short of kneading time by hand. The gluten will be developed during the rising times. You shouldn't be concerned about extra kneading time to develop gluten using this process.)

7. Place the dough is an oiled bowl, making sure that the top of the dough is lightly oiled (so as not to dry out). Cover and let rise to double. There is no need to let it rise higher than double in size. This should take about 30 minutes.

8. With your fists, punch down the dough. Turn the dough over and let rise to double again. This time should take about 15 minutes.

9. You can let it rise one more time - 10 minutes (if you have time), or you can shape it into loaves now. keep in mind that each rising should take a shorter time than the previous one. Three risings is very good.

10. shape into loaves, rolls, or braided loaves (whatever shape you want)

11. Place in or on greased/oiled pans.

12. Let ithe dough rise to double again.

13. Place in oven and turn on to 350 F.

14. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

15. Remove from pans and cool completely on a rack before putting into plastic bags.

You can freeze this bread for later use after it has been completely cooled.

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