Nothing is better in the kitchen than the aroma of freshly baking bread in the oven!
Today I decided it was time to bake bread, I always bake my own bread, it is better and cheaper than anything you get in the stores these days.
Bread baking was made easier for me years ago, by the addition of the Kitchen Aid Mixer to the home, my mixer is about 32 years old, has seen countless loaves of bread dough through the years. I usually knead my dough for approximately 12 minutes.
I do mine backwards from the way Kitchen Aid recommends as when using whole wheat flour it usually takes more warm water and doing it this way allows you to visually incorporate the water to the dough until you have the right consistency. I do all this by look and feel of the dough.
Below I have posted the recipe, and in addition simple pictures of the process.
AMISH WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
recipe from Amish Cooking-Pathway Publishers 1977, original recipe for Aylmer Bread, (recipe has been altered by me over the years)
2 cups white or unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tablespoons Wheat Gluten
1 tsp Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Oil, or Melted Crisco, Butter or Lard
1 cup very Warm Water (milk may be used as part of liquid) however I find you have a nice loaf with just water.
1) Place flour, whole wheat flour, gluten in the mixing bowl and mix together with flat beater.
2) In Measuring cup very warm water, sugar and yeast, stir together and allow yeast to start growing.
3) After yeast starts to grow, add salt and shortening/oil of your choice and stir in.
4) With dough hook on mixer add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, and knead on speed 2, at this point have some very warm water handy, about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup, as dough mixes add water to dry parts of flour in bowl until the dough works into a ball, and cleans the sides of the bowl.
5) At this point set the timer for 12 minutes and let the dough knead.
6) I use a Pyrex 3 qt mixing bowl, to which I add about 1 tsp. shortening/oil of your choice and place in the oven set at 200 just enough time to melt the shortening and warm the bowl,
7) At this point take the dough and place in the bowl and flip to coat with melted shortening, cover with T-Towel and let rest in oven (turned off) until doubled in bulk, which can take up to 1 1/2 hours, in the oven this way often 45 minutes.
8) Punch Down, shape into loaf and place in greased bread pan, (at this point I turn the oven on warm for a couple of minutes, then turn off and place the pan covered loosely with T-towel in oven until doubled again, 30-45 minutes
9) Remove from oven, still covered, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees, place pan in oven, bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes,
10) Remove from oven, grease top with shortening/oil, remove from pan, cool on wire rack, when cool slice with bread knife or electric knife works wonderfully.
This loaf was made with vegetable oil, crisco works, butter is better, and Lard is best.
This recipe has been experimented with many times over the years here. I have used 1/2 White and 1/2 Unbleached flours, which comes out ok, it is the fact that I do not like “DRY & Crumbly” whole wheat bread that I prefer 2 cups white to 1 whole wheat.
Also you can experiment as I have by adding flax seeds, whole grains, wheat germ, any thing comes to mind, some will require additional water to be incorporated others will not, bread baking is not rocket science, you learn by looking and feeling if it needs more water or not. It is really simple.