The BEST Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe…….Using Grain Milled Yourself

Ok, so in my circle of aquaintances, both in the blogging world and the real world, it seems that if you are a Christian, and conservative, and a homeschooler, and a Mama to many, then you MUST bake your own bread. Not just any bread either, but seriously nutritional bread, made from whole wheat flour. Again, not just any old whole wheat flour will suffice……..trust me I have tried sooo many different types of store bought whole wheat flour……but flour that you grind yourself in a flour mill. I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but there is, and it’s amazing!!!

I finally got a grain mill as a gift from my wonderful husband (who totally benefits from the delicious home baked bread as well), and I immediately got to it. After watching a few YouTube videos on how to work the darn thing, ordering the grain and vital wheat gluten online, and shopping for the rest of the ingredients, I began collecting various recipes online and from friends. Twenty loaves and ten recipes later, I tweaked my bread into the most delicious, nutritious and softest whole wheat home-made bread I have ever tasted! Here is the recipe that I adapted from an amazing recipe that I found from a gal over at http://www.anoregoncottage.com (and she has TONS of other great recipes that I want to try!) You can view her original recipe and some cool tips here: http://www.anoregoncottage.com/whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-101/ or try the one I have had success with below.  I have included TONS of pictures, as I always like recipes with TONS of pictures:

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 loaves of bread):

7 cups of FRESHLY milled Hard White Wheat flour

2.5 cups of Warm Water (at least 110 degrees)

1.5 tablespoons Instant Dry Yeast

1/3 cup of Honey

1/3 cup of Canola Oil

2 teaspoons Salt

1.5 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten

STEP ONE: Assemble all of the ingredients and equipment to create your ‘Sponge’:

2 cups of freshly milled whole wheat flour

2.5 cups of warm water (at least 110 degrees)

1.5 tablespoons instant active dry yeast

Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer (or other stand mixer)

NutriMill Grain Mixer (or other grain mixer)

Get your flour mill ready......I use a Nutrimill.

Get your flour mill ready……I use a Nutrimill.

Next add your 2 cups of your grain......I use Hard White Wheat.

Next add 2 cups of your grain……I use Hard White Wheat.

IMG_4987

Run hot water inside and over your Stand Mixer mixing bowl to warm it…….then immediately add 2.5 cups of warm water (at least 110 degrees) to the bowl.

Add 2.5 tablespoons of yeast.

Add 1.5 tablespoons of yeast.

Add 2 cups of freshly milled flour, 1/2 cup at a time, while using the paddle attachment to mix it on low.......just until combined.  Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.

Add 2 cups of freshly milled flour, 1/2 cup at a time, while using the paddle attachment to mix it on low…….just until combined. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.

Let it sit and 'Sponge' for 15 minutes.......this serves as the breads FIRST RISE.

Let it sit and ‘Sponge’ for 15 minutes…….this serves as the breads FIRST RISE.

SECOND STEP:  Assemble the rest of your ingredients and equipment.

5 cups of freshly milled whole wheat flour

1/3 cup of honey

1/3 cup of Canola oil

2 teaspoons of salt

1.5 tablespoon vital wheat gluten

(2) 9×5 inch bread loaf pans

cooking spray

kitchen towel

During the 15 minutes Sponge, assemble the rest of your ingredients so you can work quickly and efficiently once the sponge is done.

During the 15 minutes Sponge, assemble the rest of your ingredients so you can work quickly and efficiently once the sponge is done.

Gather together 4 cups of grain, the oil, the honey, the vital wheat gluten, the salt, the cooking spray, 2 loaf pans, and a kitchen towel.

Gather together 4 cups of grain, the oil, the honey, the vital wheat gluten, the salt, the cooking spray, 2 loaf pans, and a kitchen towel.

When there is only 2 minutes left on the timer, start to mill your grain.

When there is only 2 minutes left on the timer, start to mill your grain.

Mill the remaining flour.......I use 4 cups of grain, which gives me almost 5 cups of flour.  Milling it with only 2 minutes left on the clock means that your flour will still be very warm.

Mill the remaining flour…….I use 4 cups of grain, which gives me almost 5 cups of flour. Milling it with only 2 minutes left on the clock means that your flour will still be very warm.

Sponge is done when it has risen and is bubbly......if it's not, wait a little longer.  NOTE:  If your sponge does not rise, chuck it out and start again with new yeast.  No reason to progress as the yeast did not proof.

The Sponge is done when it has risen and is bubbly……if it’s not, wait a little longer. NOTE: If your sponge does not rise, chuck it out and start again with new yeast. No reason to progress as the yeast did not proof, which usually means the yeast is bad.

Here are two pictures that show you the difference between what you begin with, and the risen sponge…….just so you know what you are looking for 🙂

Let it sit and 'Sponge' for 15 minutes.......this serves as the breads FIRST RISE.

Let it sit and ‘Sponge’ for 15 minutes…….this serves as the breads FIRST RISE.

Sponge is done when it has risen and is bubbly......if it's not, wait a little longer.  NOTE:  If your sponge does not rise, chuck it out and start again with new yeast.  No reason to progress as the yeast did not proof.

Sponge is done when it has risen and is bubbly……if it’s not, wait a little longer. NOTE: If your sponge does not rise, chuck it out and start again with new yeast. No reason to progress as the yeast did not proof.

STEP THREE:  Add the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.

Turn your mixer on low, and add the oil, then the honey, the salt, the wheat gluten, and then slowly add 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

Turn your mixer on low, and add the oil, then the honey, the salt, the wheat gluten, and then slowly add 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time……let the paddle attachment incorporate the flour after each 1/2 cup of flour is added.

Stop the mixer, and scrape the dough off of the paddle attachment, then remove the paddle.......the dough will be a gooey mess, but that's ok.

Stop the mixer, and scrape the dough off of the paddle attachment, then remove the paddle…….the dough will be a gooey mess, but that’s ok.

STEP FOUR:  Knead the dough.

Attach the dough hook and then turn your mixer on low.

Attach the dough hook and then turn your mixer on low.

Mix on low, and slowly add 1/2 cup of flour around the sides of the bowl. tablespoon

Mix on low, and slowly add 1/2 cup of flour around the sides of the bowl.

When the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl, it is ready to be kneaded.......if it is not ready after the last 1/2 cup of flour, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it does........DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH FLOUR OR YOUR BREAD WILL RESEMBLE A WHEAT BRICK!!

When the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl, it is ready to be kneaded…….if it is not ready after the last 1/2 cup of flour, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it does……..DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH FLOUR OR YOUR BREAD WILL RESEMBLE A WHEAT BRICK!!

Let the dough hook knead your bread for 6 minutes.

Let the dough hook knead your bread for 6 minutes.

The dough will not be sticking to sides when it is finished, but it WILL STICK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL.......This is good.

The dough will not be sticking to sides when it is finished, but it WILL STICK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL…….This is good.

STEP FIVE:  Form the loaves and let the bread rise for the Second Time.

You should have about 1/2 cup of flour left in your milled flour bowl......use this to flour a flat surface so that you can shape your loaves.........no good baking experience is complete without a deliciously chubby baby to watch over your work :-)

You should have about 1/2 cup of flour left in your milled flour bowl……use this to flour a flat surface so that you can shape your loaves………Of course, no good baking experience is complete without a deliciously chubby baby to watch over your work 🙂

Pull the dough out of the mixing bowl, scraping it out with your fingers if necessary.......dough should be sticky, but not sticking to your fingers.  Shape into an even oval.

Pull the dough out of the mixing bowl, scraping it out with your fingers if necessary…….dough should be sticky, but not sticking to your fingers. Shape into an even oval.

Cut into 2 even pieces..

Cut into 2 even pieces.

Using your loaf pan as a guide, gently flatten out one half of the dough into a rectangle with your fingers........it does NOT have to be perfect.

Using your loaf pan as a guide, gently flatten out one half of the dough into a rectangle with your fingers……..it does NOT have to be perfect.

Start to roll it into a loaf.

Start to roll it into a loaf.

Pinch the seam.

Pinch the seam.

Roll the end edges in.

Roll the end edges in.

Pinch the end seams.

Pinch the end seams.

Place into greased loaf pan, and gently even out the dough.  Repeat process with second piece of dough.

Place into greased loaf pan, and gently even out the dough. Repeat process with second piece of dough.

Place on top of refrigerator, and cover with a towel.

Place on top of refrigerator, and cover with a towel.

Let rise for 1 hour.

Let rise for 1 hour.

TIPS FOR RISING:  Now would be a good time to tell you about the importance of rising.  If you rise it too quickly, IT WILL FALL DURING BAKING!!  I don’t care if it is a 2 full inches over the pan, if it rises too quickly it will fall flat.  Letting your dough rise in a warm oven can cause this.  I have tried turning the oven on to the lowest setting for a few minutes and then turning it off……the bread rose great, and then it fell while it cooked.  I have tried placing a pan of hot water inside the oven, letting it rise, and it STILL fell while baking.  The only method that has worked for me has been placing the bread on top of the refrigerator.  NO, it will not get a fantastically huge rise, but it will get about 1/2 to 3/4 inch rise over the pan, and it won’t fall while it bakes.

My most successful rises have been on top of the refrigerator.

My most successful rises have been on top of the refrigerator.

Whenever I looked for recipes, even the great recipe over at An Oregon Cottage, the bread pictured was always a gorgeously risen loaf…..sort of what you would expect to see in the super market.  Through many attempts and countless recipes, I have yet to get such a rise.  Many bakers add a little white flour to get such a loaf, but to me, that defeats the nutritional purpose of going to all of the trouble to bake 100% whole wheat.  My bread may not be as high, but it is soooo flavorful and works for sandwiches, toast, and snacking.

15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat your oven to 350.  Once the hour is up, transfer pans to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.

15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat your oven to 350. Once the hour is up, transfer pans to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.

Turn the loaf pans, and bake for another 15 minutes.  Overall baking time is 30 minutes.

Turn the loaf pans, and bake for another 15 minutes. Overall baking time is 30 minutes.

Loaves will be a beautiful golden brown.......after taking the pans out of the oven, immediately remove bread from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Loaves will be a beautiful golden brown…….after taking the pans out of the oven, immediately remove bread from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

After letting the bread cool completely, use a sharp serrated bread knife to cut into thin slices.

After letting the bread cool completely, use a sharp serrated bread knife to cut into thin slices.

Enjoy your delicious and nutritious whole wheat bread!!!!

Enjoy your delicious and nutritious whole wheat bread!!!!

I store my bread in bread bags that I buy at Walmart.  The bags make the bread incredibly soft and it will keep for several days.  The bread also freezes beautifully.

I store my bread in bread bags that I buy at Walmart. The bags make the bread incredibly soft and it will keep for several days. The bread also freezes beautifully.

For information on where I buy all of my bread ingredients, which makes this bread not only delicious and nutritious, but also very frugal for a large family (or any size for that matter) go to my post here:  https://raisingservantsofchrist.com/2014/06/06/where-to-buy-quality-bread-ingredients-cheap/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One response to “The BEST Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe…….Using Grain Milled Yourself

  1. Pingback: Where to Buy Quality Bread Ingredients…….Cheap! | Raising Servants of Christ·

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