Homemade Whole Wheat Bread {recipe}

One way to save a lot ‘dough’ (I know, bad pun) is to bake your own bread.

I figure it costs me about .50 – .80 cents per loaf depending on what recipe I use. The loaves are smaller but still last our family of 3 about 3 days. Each week I normally bake about 3 loaves as well as buns for when we have burgers. And for me the best thing about making my own bread is that I know exactly what’s in it.

I’ve learned quite a bit over the last few months about baking bread and screwed up a lot of loaves, and even though I am no expert, here are some of my tips:

  • Do spoon the flour into the measuring cup. If you scoop it with the measuring cup, you may pack more than what you need into it. Level off with a knife.
  • Using milk instead of water will create a softer crust.
  • Use only real butter or oil. Not margarine.
  • Speaking of oil, that will keep it moister, longer.
  • You can substitute honey or molasses for the sugar for a slightly different taste.
  • Use only room temp ingredients.
  • When the air is dry (winter) , you may need to use a bit more water. And when it’s humid out (summer), a bit less.
  • Don’t set it and forget it. I always check mine after about 5 minutes to make sure it has enough water to mix well. If it’s not mixing well, I’ll add it a tsp at a time. I also take a spoon and make sure to scrap down the sides so that all the ingredients get mixed in. (plus then you can make sure you put the kneading blade in. Yes, I forgot once.)
  • Use only the dough cycle. After the cycle is finished, transfer the dough into a bread pan and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Then bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then place the loaf onto a rack to cool the rest of the way.
  • As soon as it is cool, place into a large ziploc or other bag. If you wait to long it may over dry.
  • You can also place a stick of celery in the bag to help keep it moist if you don’t eat it within a few days.

To make it even easier, and quicker, to bake bread, sometimes I’ll mix up the dry ingredients (minus the yeast) and place them into a ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer until I’m ready to use them. I try to do this once a month or so. Just write down on the outside of the bag which wet ingredients still need to be added, toss those into the machine first, pour in your pre-made mix, and then the yeast, and waalaa! Insta-bread. Ok, so it’s not instant, but you get the idea! One word of advice if you freeze it – take it out and bring it to room temp before you use it. Otherwise your bread will be dense and flat.

This is the recipe I normally use for our everyday sandwich bread {not soaked}:

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread {recipe}
Author: 
Recipe type: Breads and Grains
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup milk (since we use whole raw milk I normally dilute ¾ cup milk with ½ cup water to make it stretch a bit more)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp vinegar (helps keep it light and airy)
Method of Preparation
  1. I let the bread machine do all the mixing on the dough cycle and then I take it out and put it in a bread loaf pan to rise for another 30 minutes.
  2. Then it goes into a 350 degree oven for 26 minutes. (I’ve made it so much I know the exact time it takes! It could take a few less or a few more minutes in your oven)
  3. Once it’s out, it sits in the pan for about 10 minutes and then I take it out to cool on a baking rack until cool (or I snag one of the end pieces first and eat it with some nice butter!).
  4. It gets sliced and then tossed into a ziploc bag.
Notes
*This is an un soaked recipe, but depending on where you are in your journey to real foods, this could work perfectly for you. It’s still the one recipe I break out when I haven’t had the time to make my sourdough bread. *Nourishing Notes: use sprouted flour to lower the phytic acid content

Whole grain bread1

 

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. I may be a bit late, but wanted to toss out a few extra tips about baking bread (and baking in general). The best way to get an accurate measurement for flour is the kitchen scale. I use mine all the time! One cup of normal, white flour is 5 oz., whole wheat is 5 1/2 oz. Works for other things, too, like sugars, etc. Also, another great (and environmentally AND diabetic) sweetener is Agave nectar, sold in the health food section of a growing number of stores, including QFC and Trader Joes. It tastes great! Have fun baking!

    Merritt | LiveSimplyLove Reply:

    @Kathy, I realize this comment is a few years old, but I just had to share when I saw the recommendation for agave nectar. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Check this out: http://butterbeliever.com/2011/11/04/is-agave-nectar-a-healthy-sweetener/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ButterBeliever+%28Butter+Believer%29

  2. Hey Kathy,thanks for your tips! (and it’s never to late :-)I had never thought of weighing my ingredients, might just have to give it a go if I can ever find my scale! And I’ve heard of agave nectar before but never thought about putting it in my bread, I may just have to try that too.

  3. icajay – this recipe I don’t soak at all. Kind of a bummer, but it’s a recipe that my husband enjoys so it’s the one I make most often since he eats the majority of the sandwiches. I have been trying soaked recipes and once I find one we really like, I’ll post that one too. :-)

  4. Have you tried the soaked recipe at passionate home making?

    http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/01/kitchen-tip-tuesday-homemade-bread.html

    It is our go to recipe now!!! Oh so yummy and the little millet seeds add a little crunch!

  5. Donielle says:

    Kendra – I haven’t yet tried Lindsey’s recipe. Not for the fact that I don’t want to -I do! But being 33 weeks pregnant right now I’m more in survival mode. :-) I do want to try it as soon as I can though!

  6. Hi Donielle,
    I dont have a bread machine, but I’m going to try it with the dough hook on my kithen aid. How long do you think it will need to knead, using the dough hook? Thanks!

    donielle Reply:

    @Jesica, Jesica – sorry I didn’t answer this till now! {leaving a question go unanswered is like a cardinal sin for bloggers! :-)}

    Anyways, I actually started using my stand mixer for bread and I’d mix it 10-15 minutes, let it rest-covered- for 30 minutes, knead again briefly, let rest for one hour to rise – covered. After the one hour place in a bread pan, cover and let rest till doubled in size (about 30 min) and bake.

    Hope that helps!

    jesica Reply:

    Yay, that helps! Thanks so much!

  7. I highly recommend Andrew Whitley’s book – Bread Matters – ingredients – flour water and a very little salt (for the sourdough) – the main ingredient is time – letting the refreshed sourdough starter or yeast sponge sit overnight. Also explains all the additives that are in store bought bread (will put you off eating shop bread)

    donielle Reply:

    @Liz H, Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll have to look into that one!

  8. I absolutely love this recipe. Thank you so much!!! Can’t wait to try some of your other ones. :)

  9. Do you grease the pan when you put the loaf into it?
    Thanks!

    donielle Reply:

    @Emily, Yes, that would be best.

  10. Would it be ok using the delay timer on my bread machine? I wasn’t sure since the recipe has milk in it. I would be using the delay while I am at work. Thanks!

    donielle Reply:

    @Ally, If you use pasteurized milk, I wouldn’t put it on delay for very long. You can use coconut milk or water instead. For me – I’d feel comfortable with my farm fresh milk though.

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