I learned how to bake bread from my Mom, doing it the traditional way: lots and lots of stirring, kneading and babysitting dough in old, drafty houses. It didn’t endear to me (I hated kneading) but I never forgot how to do it. In college I often made bread on my day off from work. I had one bread pan and used the same recipe my Mom had, off a bag of Gold Medal AP flour. Even with the blandest bleached flour it still tasted better than any grocery store bread could dream of. One time a friend of my boyfriend came by to see if he was there and he smelled the bread baking and was begging for a slice. There is a certain aroma to baking bread, it drives you hunger-crazy!
Then I quit baking bread in my early 20’s. Living in a cold house on an Island didn’t translate to tall loaves of bread. Until I got my first bread machine, which later died a painful death when the cat, rubbing against it while it kneaded the bread, pushed it off the counter. We replaced it when we got married with a gift card we had received. I used it some, but it wasn’t till having more babies that I saw the real benefit – I could make whole grain bread without doing much. It makes whole wheat bread that is tender. This loaf, Ford (the teen), didn’t question on if it was “healthy”, he simply ate half the loaf! Sure I could do it the “right” way and knead with hands or use my stand mixer but lets face it….I’d rather have fresh bread without the work. More time to hug my babies! And honestly, I get great results with the bread machine.
White whole wheat flour was a game changer for me. To be honest, I have never liked the heavy texture of whole wheat flour, especially in bread and pasta. Trader Joe’s started carrying the white awhile back and I tried it, figuring at worst I was out $5. As far as I know it is King Arthur flour branded under TJ’s. Anyways, once tried I liked it. It was a good halfway point between white all-purpose and whole wheat – and you can always use ½ of each as you get used to it.
So what is white whole wheat? Simply put it is a different variety of wheat. That is it! When we were down at Bob’s Red Mill earlier this month I stocked up on their 5 lb bags and as well picked up a 25 lb bag of Hard White Wheat Berries (at $20 it is a bargain for organic). My plan is to grind the berries with my Vitamix and start making my flour.
I used a recipe out of the bread book that came with my Breadman TR2500BC Ultimate Plus Breadmaker. Over the years I have found the recipes in the book work great. Many small appliances come with horrid cookbooks, this one shines. If you happen to have this bread machine, it is on page 46.
White Whole Wheat Bread (1½ lb loaf)
- 1¼ cups warm water (80°F)
- 2½ Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2½ Tbsp molasses
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp dry milk (or favorite dry non-dairy milk for vegan)
- 3¾ cups white whole wheat flour
- 2½ Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
Add wet items to the bread machine, with dry on top and yeast last (or however your bread machine calls for ingredients). Select whole wheat cycle. Once baked, remove and knock out onto a cooling rack, let cool before slicing.
Makes one 1½ lb loaf. Once cooled, store tightly wrapped.