This Gratituesday, I’m super-thankful for homemade whole-wheat bread. I’ve been hunting for the perfect recipe, which has ended in disaster a couple of times.
You see, I have a bread machine, one of those newfangled things that I had never tried before a few months ago. (And yes, I’m still in my 20’s, know how to text message, have a Facebook account, and all that good stuff. But I’m not up on kitchen technology, apparently.) Well, lucky for me, some of our friends were moving out of town and had received TWO bread machines for their wedding! And they didn’t want one. So for some reason, they thought I should have one, which I gladly agreed to (although I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, at the time).
The first few bread loaves were splendid. I made this “light wheat” bread recipe (half whole wheat, half white flour) that came with the recipe booklet from the manufacturer. And then I decided to get fancy or something. On a trip to Barnes and Noble, I bought “The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread – From Every Kind of Machine.” (Beware of those claims. They cannot be true at all times.)
It sounded safe, so I tried the 100% whole wheat bread recipe. And it flopped. It was so bad that both my husband and I agreed it felt like a brick. I don’t even know if I could slice open the loaf. It was built like a chevy… like a rock!
Then, I discussed my bread disaster with my Asian friend, who makes everything up by dumping this-that-and-the-other-thing together and making whatever she so desires. Every time I’ve tried her food, it turns out amazingly well. And yes, she uses that dump-cook method to make bread… in her bread maker. So she gave me very approximate measurements. And once again, I came out with something strange. It was a bit better than the first loaf, I must say, but I was very worried to try 100% whole wheat bread in my bread maker again.
About then, I took a vacation from making bread and bought a few loaves from Trader Joe’s.
But after a few weeks, I started missing homemade bread again. So I went back to my “The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.” I actually found some recipes that were good! (So good that I might share them sometime. Or you can buy the book yourself.) I tried “White Whole Wheat Bread” (which was really good. So good that I’ll be making this again! It’s made with the King Arthur white whole wheat flour.) I also tried Whole Wheat Basil Bread, made with fresh basil from my patio garden. And THAT was really good, too!
Then, last Thursday, I noticed that on Facebook, one of my friends had posted a recipe (in reply to one of her friends) for 100% whole wheat bread… in a bread maker!
On Friday, with much fear and trepidation, I tried it, and I LOVED it! It is my new favorite bread recipe. The only thing is, I’m afraid it might rise so big that it might stick to the roof of the bread maker. So I have been taking it out after it is kneaded and baking it in the oven. But here is the recipe in case you want to try it:
1/3 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. gluten flour
1/8 c. oil
1/4 c. honey
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 2/3 c. very warm water