Saturday, March 10, 2012

The BEST Whole Wheat Bread

My doctor said: "Limit white bread consumption."
Not that easy.  

  • We usually had a fresh baguette, as part of our dinner, two or three times a week. 
  • I often made nice white breads in my bread machine to go with soups or stews.
  • Spaghetti was served with  garlic bread made on fresh French or Italian loaves.
  • There was always a loaf of Oroweat Potato bread in the freezer for toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Hamburgers were served on white Kaiser rolls, and hotdogs on squishy hotdog buns!
  • Even salads came with toasted croutons made from white bread!
  • Sandwich anyone?  

But I was determined to make a change that I could maintain for the rest of my life.  OK, no more white bread ... 
Whole Wheat here we come!  
Not a hard change after all.  

I wanted to be able to make a good whole wheat bread by myself. In the RV, anywhere in the country! Preferably in my bread machine.

I did  little research and was lucky to come up with what has turned out to be the best bread ever!  I've been making one loaf about every five or six days. 
 It keeps well, and we have used every bit of each loaf.  The ends becoming croutons or bread crumbs. It toasts beautifully and I find one very thin slice satisfying with dinner.  

I think the nutritional numbers are about the same as Oroweat Double Fiber bread, 80 - 100 Calories, 18 - 20g carbs, and 4 - 5g fiber.  But the taste is much Better!  Less like cardboard.

This is a web image, but mine looks very much like this!
Before I get to the actual recipe I need to discuss one ingredient.  "Dough Enhancer."  I had never heard of it.  Neither Whole Foods, or Berkeley Bowl had it, so I made my first loaf without it.  
I had Googled it to find out what was in it (wheat gluten, lecithin granules, ascorbic acid crystals, powdered pectin, unflavored gelatin, nonfat dry milk, and powdered ginger) so I just used an extra tablespoon of gluten powder.  The bread was fine without it. 
 We have since found a source, Barry Farm Dough Enhancer on the internet.   It seems to make the bread a bit softer and moister. 
So, here is the recipe:

Bread Machine Recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Oats, Bran, and Flaxseed Meal

Makes one loaf, about 1.5 pounds

Dry ingredients - Mix all in a bowl before adding to the wet:
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup ground rolled oats (oatmeal ground in a food processor or blender, or use 1 cup whole oatmeal)
1/3 cup wheat bran
2 T flaxseed meal
2 T vital wheat gluten
1 T dough enhancer  (see note below)
1 tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients and sweeteners - Mix in measuring cup, or machine pan and stir before adding dry mix:
1 1/3 cup lukewarm water 
  (May need more water during first mix cycle)
1 T olive oil
1 T agave nectar or honey (see note below)
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. yeast (either Red Star Active Dry Yeast, or jarred yeast for bread machines.)

Settings: Whole Wheat Cycle, 1.5 pound loaf, Dark Crust
Follow directions for your bread machine. In my Breadman Bread Machine I put the liquid in first, followed by the dry ingredients that I mix in a separate bowl. Then I make a small well in the flour and put the yeast in that. I used the whole wheat setting on the machine.

Watch the dough while it goes through the first mixing cycle, and if it doesn't form a ball you may need to add either more flour or water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should make a firm ball and be only slightly sticky.

In my machine, whole wheat rises three times.  After the second punch down, I take the dough ball out, remove the paddle from the pan so the loaf won’t have a big hole in the bottom,  and then put the dough back in to bake.

My bread machine takes 3 hours 40 minutes for the whole wheat cycle. 

The bread is delicious warm or cold, and also makes great toast. I keep it wrapped in a plastic veggie bag in a bread box.  It is table fresh for about three days and can be used for toast for up to a week.

It may seem like a lot of ingredients the first time, but the taste, texture and fiber content is worth it!  And it can be baked anywhere in the country, in your RV. 

How good will that smell?


  1. Woohoo! Annie has started making bread, too, and I am so happy about it. She also found a whole wheat recipe that's our favorite. Nice to know what's in your bread, and have it taste like food, too!

    I hope you are as impressed by Forks Over Knives as we were the movie. I haven't read that book yet, but am about halfway through The China Study. As soon as we saw the movie we went vegan, but we've been vegan before, so it wasn't a whole big deal to figure out how to eat again.

  2. I so love good hearty whole grain bread. But Jim's doctor doesn't want him eating any bread for a few months yet. Breaks my heart.

  3. sounds like a great whole wheat bread recipe! if only we had a bread maker!

  4. I used to have a bread machine, but it takes up so much space. Maybe we can get into making bread manually someday :)

  5. Thanks for posting. I'm going to give your recipe a try, although I don't have any gluten. In the whole wheat that I'm making now I just use 1/4 cup white flour instead and that seems to work.

    But the problem with making bread is that it is just too darn good and we eat way too much of it!

  6. Good for you ...trying to eat healthy. Along with Forks over Spoons that the good luck duck recommends another great dvd is Food,Inc. a real eye opener. It really is all abouy educating ourselves so we know what the heck we are eating. It is amazing to me what people put in their bodies and call it food...

  7. Love the recipe -- gonna try it out soon.

  8. Hmmm..... just realized, this was a March 10 article and it just showed up in Google Reader this morning. Wassup with that? Mumble, mumble, mumble.


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