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Perfect Homemade Bread – 10 Tips to Improve Homemade Whole Grain Bread

Updated on April 8, 2008

Delicacy or Cardboard?

We all know that using whole grain in our diet is really good for us, right? I used to think that eating whole grains and all that healthy food was comparable to eating cardboard. Well, I've come up with some easy tips to help the healthy cardboard foods become heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth delicacies. Ready? Here they are:

End result = Heavenly Homemade Bread
End result = Heavenly Homemade Bread

Sticky Test

10 Best Tips for Improving Homemade Bread

  1. Use WARM water - between 15 and 120 degrees
  2. Use freshly ground flour whenever possible, this will also increase nutritional value in your bread
  3. Add some spelt flour to the whole wheat flour mixture. Spelt adds a lighter texture to your bread
  4. Do not measure your flour. Your bread will turn out better if you go by the look and feel of the dough
  5. Always add yeast after the flour so that the hot water will not kill the yeast
  6. Add salt with the last addition of flour
  7. After the dough cleans the bowl and forms on one side, do not add any more flour

  8. The softer the dough, the softer and lighter the bread
  9. Whole wheat flour continues to absorb moisture after you kneed it, so it is okay to have the dough a bit sticky
  10. Always oil your hands and countertop well so your dough does not stick. Do not use flour, this could make a bit heavier loaf.

How to Achieve Delicacy Status

There you go. Now all you need is a recipe - not just any recipe, but a truly great recipe for making homemade, whole grain bread. I happen to have one that I have adapted from several good recipes. I think it is amazing. Please try it and give me your feedback - has your bread become a heavenly delicacy that is also incredibly healthy for you?

notice the uniform "shine" the dough is developing - this is good.
notice the uniform "shine" the dough is developing - this is good.

Perfect Whole Grain Bread Recipe (uses a Bosch Mixer)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups hot tap water (hot to the touch; not hot enough to burn finger)
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup honey (you can substitute 3/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water, but honey is better)
  • 2 Tbs dough enhancer
  • 2 Tbs SAF instant yeast
  • 2 Tbs salt
  • 1 cup golden flax, ground
  • 2 Tbs wheat gluten or 1 cup white flour
  • 12-16 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour

Pour warm water into Bosch mixing bowl. Add 6 cups flour on top of liquid. Then add dough enhancer, oil, honey, yeast, and gluten. Use the (M) momentary switch to mix until smooth.

Add flax, approximately 5 more cups flour and salt. Turn Bosch to speed 2. Continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time (should use about 3 cups) until the dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Continue kneading on speed 2 (medium speed) for about 5 minutes. (If you add spelt flour, you do not need to knead the bread dough very long, 5 minutes will do. Spelt has a more fragile gluten than red or white wheats.)

You can let bread dough rise until double in size in a covered, warm mixing bowl and then prepare dough into loaves or simply oil or grease hands and counter and divide dough into equal portions and shape into loaves. Put into well greased pans. Cover. Let rise until double in size. Note: I think this dough works better if, after mixing, you divide the dough and put it into pans to raise then bake it. I let it raise twice when I get interrupted and the bread is fine, too when that happens. Try the "shortcut." Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Top of loaves can be brushed with water or butter for shiny appearance.

Dough can also be used for pizza crust, scones, or cinnamon rolls. YUM!!

Yield: 5-6 loaves

This recipe was adapted from my friend Trisha's recipe and from my mom's bread recipe

This bread only raised once in the pan...
This bread only raised once in the pan...

Easy!

There you go... can it get any easier? (Well, it might not be so easy if you don't have a Bosch Kitchen Machine, but that can be remedied if you want it to be. I used the Bosch Universal, which is now the Bosch Universal Plus.)

By the way, the golden flax and the spelt grain are two key highly nutritional and important ingredients to this bread recipe. Without them, you won't get the higher fiber, protein, and omega content you could have had, had you used them.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Renee 

      2 years ago

      I would like a VEGAN dough enhancer as well....thanks! :)

    • profile image

      Renee 

      4 years ago

      I looked up dough enhancer and it has dairy in it and other ingredients we don't eat...... so please give me a substitute, thank you!

    • profile image

      Renee 

      4 years ago

      I too would like to know what is the dough enhancer you are using????

    • profile image

      ktyler44 

      4 years ago

      How much spelt flour do you recommend?

    • profile image

      Mai 

      4 years ago

      What is a dough enhencer? Is the spelt flour?

    • profile image

      C-Dazzle 

      5 years ago

      Holy cow, I have tried a million different bread recipes over the years and had virtually given up. All I ever ended up with we're hockey pucks. I was directed to this post thru my sister and low and behold, 5 perfectly beautiful, soft and absolutely delicious loaves of edible bread came out of my oven. Thank you!!!!!!!!! :)

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 

      5 years ago from Southeast USA

      What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • keyfound profile image

      keyfound 

      7 years ago from Saskatchewan

      Every time i bake bread its pretty darn heavy. Is this becuaseI am adding too much flour?

    • profile image

      livy 

      8 years ago

      I think she meant 350 Fahrenheit, and if you convert to celsius it's around 175 celsius. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Heather 

      8 years ago

      We live at a mile above sea level. I tried your recipe, as I have many others, and the bread has great taste and texture, but it will not rise. I did use dough enhancer and wheat gluten (in fact, I put in a little extra, b/c the wheat I am using is very low in gluten). I did not use the spelt flour. The no-rise is true of any wheat I use. White bread does rise just fine. Do you think this is the altitude, or could it be something else? Thank you so much for your help.

      Heather

    • profile image

      lindy1127 

      9 years ago

      I think the temperature you meant to write was ONE HUNDRED fifteen and 120 degrees. It is no doubt obvious to everyone already, but you might want to change that small error. After reading through this, I am so inspired to start baking bread again! I'll be back to let you know how this turns out for me!

    • KathleenH profile image

      KathleenH 

      10 years ago

      This is brilliant! What a great idea to oil hands instead of using flour - I will definitely try that tomorrow when I bake!! Thank you!!

    • profile image

      aadkins 

      10 years ago

      love it! i added 12 tablespons of italian seasonings to this mixture. probably ends up being 3 tablespoons to each mixture. yummy twist!

    • speltfan profile imageAUTHOR

      speltfan 

      10 years ago

      Isn't that one of the best smells anywhere? Fresh bread just out of the oven. Just like Pillsbury says: Lovin' from the oven.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I also add rice flour to mine...in fact I use several flours. with my organic unbleached flours. spelt is my favorite tho. and quineau is good..they all are.. Thanks for such beautiful pics too I could smell it from here...G-Ma :o) hugs

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