Whole Wheat Bread

Remember how I was talking about my kids eating "Healthy Peanut Lettuce Wraps"?  They were so excited about eating them...and now it seems this past week has been pulling teeth to get them to even taste some things!  Granted my beet soup last night left something to be desired (the original recipe was good, but with my healthy changes, not so much), it takes one bite to qualify that you've tasted it.  You would have thought I asked them to eat some fuzzy moldy cheese.  The mission was accomplished, but with SO much complaining.

These are the times that we have to stick to our guns.  These are the times they will test if we are serious.  I know kids ebb and flow with attitude and I hope the flow returns quickly.

That being said, they put up no complaints gobbling this bread down!  There was a local deal at our Great Harvest of buy one get one free on Monday and Tuesday mornings, but then they decided to discontinue it.  It's not worth it for me to shell out over $10 for 2 loaves of bread.  I decided to try my hand at baking it, something I've wanted to do for a while.
Before this I was overwhelmed with the bread making idea.  It all sounded super time consuming and involved lots of hands-on.

Thanks to a friend, I have a recipe that requires no hand kneading, does not use a bread machine, and will be done it about 2 hours without any intense labor on your part.  Plus it tastes awesome!

I have really enjoyed making this at least once a week (sometimes more if I'm giving some away).

I've tried this with and without added gluten (thanks to Winco bulk section).  The gluten does make it airier but the non-gluten version doesn't make it a brick either.  So pick your version.  :)
Whole Wheat Bread
from Sierra Abel

1/2 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp yeast (or 2 packets)

2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
6 cups flour, divided
6 Tbsp gluten (1 per cup of whole wheat flour - omit this if using white flour)

Put 1/2 cup warm water and yeast in a bowl.  Stir lightly and let dissolve.  This mixture will not poof.  

Mix 2 cups hot water, salt, honey, oil, 3 cups flour, and gluten in a mixing bowl and combine until smooth.  Mix in yeast mixture until smooth.  Add the additional 3 cups of flour.  Turn on your mixture (dough hook) and add additional flour until it reaches the right consistency (the sides of the bowl should clean themselves but the dough should still have moisture to it).  

Once the dough ball is the right consistency, turn off your mixture (leaving dough hook, dough, etc. right where it was) and cover the bowl with a towel.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  When the timer goes off, remove the towel and turn the mixer on long enough to disturb/punch the dough down (5-10 seconds).  Replace the towel and set the timer for another 10 minutes.  Repeat this process until you have set the timer 5 times.  

This could also be done by hand with a wooden spoon, leaving the spoon in the dough until completely done mixing.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Divide the dough into 2 loaves and place in bread pans that have been sprayed with oil.  Let rise 20-60 minutes, or until doubled.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven hotness...mine cooks a little hotter so I cook mine about 15).  

Once cooked, remove from pans to prevent further cooking on the sides of the bread.  Cool on cooling rack.

**I make this with 100% whole what flour.  My friend has done lots of combos with whole wheat and white flour with great results.  If you are looking for a non-honey recipes, you could sub 3 Tbsp sugar.

(The picture above is a loaf without added gluten, the one above that is with it.)

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