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100% Whole Wheat Bread with Honey, Oatmeal, and Flax (Yum!)

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I made this bread the other day; about 4 days ago, actually. I’ve made it before, but I often try to improve recipes. And I’m often trying to make bread healthier as well. This is a classic whole wheat bread with the addition of rolled oats and flax, both of which can absorb a lot of liquid, this is the reason the high ratio of liquid-to-flour (whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than refined flour as well). Anyhow, this is a relatively simple to make bread recipe; it’s pretty straight-forward. And not only is it nutritious, it is also a bread with a lot of character; really delicious. This will make two or three average sized loaves, but I made it into one giant Pullman-style loaf. I’ve been eating it for the past four days.


Whole Wheat Oatmeal-Flax Bread

Makes 2 or 3 loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided

2 cups oatmeal, plus additional for coating

½ cup ground flax seed

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

4 cups water, divided

2 tablespoons instant yeast, divided

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup honey

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Separate the ingredients into two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, two cups of oatmeal, the flax seed, wheat gluten, and 3 cups of water; stir until just combined. In the second bowl combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and 1 cup of water; stir until just combined. Cover the bowls and allow the ingredients to rest and begin fermenting for at least an hour, but up to 12. Then combine the contents of bowl bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining tablespoon of yeast, along with the olive oil, honey, and salt. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover and allow to rise for one hour (if the dough is too moist you may need to add additional flour; this will depend on how much liquid the oats absorbs). Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two or pieces, gently shape it into loaves. Dust the counter with extra oatmeal and roll the loaves in it, gently pressing oatmeal into the surface of the raw dough. Place the loaves into oiled loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#675), and a recipe.

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On the bike…a camera bag with an extra lens, a jean jacket, a pair of socks, a chef’s coat, an apron, a book bag with various items, a bucket of raw bread dough, and four bread pans (recipe below).

100% Whole Wheat Bread 

Makes 2 loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided 

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

3 cups water, divided

4 teaspoons instant yeast, divided 

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil 

1/4 cup honey

Separate the ingredients in two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, the vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups of water. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the bowls to rest for at least an hour. After the ingredients have rested and have begun to ferment, combine the contents of both bowls to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Also add the remaining ingredients: the salt, olive oil, honey, and remaining two teaspoons yeast. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two pieces, gently shape it into loaves, and place them either on a baking sheet or in loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F/218C. If making free-form loaves, slash them with a razor just before they go into the oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. As the bread bakes rotate the loaves in the oven once or twice to ensure even baking. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Sometimes only white bread will do…

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So as you likely know if you’ve visited this blog before, I bake and eat a lot of bread but rarely the white variety. But sometimes the soft squishiness (yes, that is a word) is all that will suffice. An example of this is when making sandwich loaf (yes, that’s a thing also…these are the types of things one must make when working at a private club). To make a “proper” sandwich loaf the bread must be white of course, but also soft and airy. So if you are the type of person that enjoys really soft white bread (soft enough to rival store-bought) then this recipe is for you. Keep in mind that unlike store-bought bread–with its dough conditioners and preservatives–this will only stay really soft and squishy for a day or two. Nonetheless, this is a really delectable loaf.

Butter and Egg Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup milk

1 package active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

3 cups bread flour

2 large eggs

3 tablespoon melted butter

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 lightly beaten egg

Combine the water, milk, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of flour; stir to form a batter. Allow to ferment for 1 hour. Stir in the 2 large eggs and melted butter, then add the remaining 2 cups of flour along with the salt. Mix then knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Remove the dough from the bowl, shape it into a loaf, and place it into a lightly oiled bread pan. Preheat an oven to 350F while waiting for the bread to rise (about 45 minutes). Brush the bread with the beaten egg and bake it for about 30 minutes, or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped upon. Remove the bread from the oven and it’s pan and allow to cool before slicing. This recipe can be multiplied.

Urban Simplicity.

Naan (yum!)

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This is a very simple recipe for classic Indian naan bread. It can be baked in an oven or on top of the stove. I used the stove-top method for these (as pictured below). This is so easy to make and really delicious.You can cut the recipe in half (or double it if you like), and the breads freeze well also. Used as an accompaniment to a meal, a utensil, or spread with oil, spices, and salt and eaten alone, these breads are addicting.

 

Naan Bread

Makes 8-12 small loaves

1 ¼ cups water

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast, divided

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

4-5 cups bread flour

Combine the water, yeast, and whole wheat flour in the bowl of an electric mixer, stir just to combine, then allow it to rest and ferment for at least thirty minutes. Add the remaining yeast, the melted butter, yogurt, sugar, and sea salt to the bowl. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and operate on low speed for a minute or so, just to combine the ingredients. Then add 4 cups of bread flour to the bowl and run the mixer on medium speed. If the dough seems too sticky add additional flour. Knead the dough on medium for 6-8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise and ferment at room temperature for about an hour. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it, and shape it into small bowls; allow these to rest for just a couple minutes. Roll the loaves out on a floured surface and set aside (do not stack them). The bread can be cooked in the oven or on the stove-top. If cooking in an oven, preheat it to 500F with a heavy un-greased sheet pan inside. If on a stove-top, preheat a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium high heat. If baking in the oven, cook a few loaves at a time (as many as your pan will accommodate and make sure the oven is hot). They will cook quickly (a few minutes) and there is no need to turn them. If cooking on the stove-top cook a couple breads at a time (as many as your pan will accommodate without overlapping and make sure the skillet is hot). The breads will cook quickly; turn them once. Repeat the process until all of the breads are cooked; transferring them to a wire rack or clean towel to cool. 

Really good bread…four igredients, ok five, but one is optional

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 Okay, so here is something about me you likely do not know…I was once one of these people that thought making homemade bread was difficult. Well, it’s not. And even after I had mastered it and became somewhat obsessed with making it I still thought it was impossible to make a really good loaf using 100% whole wheat flour. Well, surprise (again), it can be and it is really simple. Five ingredients, that’s really all you need, four if you don’t add the extra gluten (but this really does add a nice texture to whole wheat bread). Anyhow, bread is easy. The best place to start is now. Like anything, you get better with practice. That first loaf–or even the first dozen loaves–may not be great, but they will be yours. But soon enough people will be asking for it. Try making your own bread. You won’t regret it.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
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4 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 cups water
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3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt

In one bowl make a preferment by combining 2 cups of whole wheat flour with 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. Begin the autolyse in another bowl by combining 4 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons of wheat gluten, and 2 cups water. Stir each bowl just enough to combine the ingredients, taking care not to get yeast into the bowl with the autolyse. Cover both bowls and allow to rest and ferment for 30-90 minutes, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak the grain, swelling the gluten.

After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and remaining 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans (or shape them pre-form and place them on baking sheets). Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Urban Simplicity.

Seven is the lucky number…

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This is one of my favorite loaves of bread and it is so easy to make. The beauty of it is that it only has seven ingredients, and–unlike most supermarket breads–all of the ingredients are easily recognizable and understandable. If you want to get real bare-bones you can pare this recipe down to just four ingredients (click here for that recipe) but with the addition of honey, olive oil, and gluten the yield is much more to my–and likely your–liking. Anyhow, the easy and delicious recipe is below.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 loaves

 

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided

 

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

 

3 cups water, divided

 

4 teaspoons instant yeast, divided

 

2 teaspoons kosher salt

 

1/4 cup olive oil

 

1/4 cup honey

 

 

Separate the ingredients in two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, the vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups of water. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the bowls to rest for at least an hour. After the ingredients have rested and have begun to ferment, combine the contents of both bowls to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Also add the remaining ingredients: the salt, olive oil, honey, and remaining two teaspoons yeast. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two pieces, gently shape it into loaves, and place them either on a baking sheet or in loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F/218C. If making free-form loaves, slash them with a razor just before they go into the oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. As the bread bakes rotate the loaves in the oven once or twice to ensure even baking. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Urban Simplicity.

Rice-and-Beans…but bread

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Yup, it’s true…rice-and-beans, but made into bread. I, as you likely know, eat a lot of bread. So I often try different combinations to make a healthier bread. Some say that rice-and-beans are a perfect food. Well, I’m not so sure about that, but they are really good. Anyhow, this recipe is not unlike my Ezekiel Bread recipe in that the beans and rice are first boiled and they–along with the cooking liquid–are used to make the bread. And of course this recipe is made using 100% whole wheat flour. Anyhow, this is really delicious and not entirely difficult. I hope you give it–or some of my other bread recipes–a try, you won’t be sorry.

Whole Wheat Brown Rice and White Bean Bread

Makes 3 loaves

12 cups water

½ cup white beans

½ cup brown rice

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cooked beans and rice

¾ cup cooking water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon instant yeast

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4 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

2 cups cooking liquid

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1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

Boil the beans for about 1 hour or until nearly soft, then add the rice and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the rice and beans are fully cooked and soft. And as the rice and beans cook add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe (keeping a lid on the pot will slow it’s evaporation). After the rice and beans are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. Once cooled, drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.

Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained rice and beans with ¾ cup of the cooking liquid, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 1 tablespoon instant yeast. Stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups cooking liquid; stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.

After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and remaining tablespoon of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes (if the dough is too soft, add an additional cup or two of flour as it kneads). Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 425F. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.