A few years back Kirk replaced my nearly worn out Breadman bread machine with a Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme machine. While it takes longer to produce a loaf of bread with it than a standard machine (think 3 hours 45 minutes and up), the bread is 2 pounds (many machines don’t go that big) and it produces a normal shaped loaf, with a gorgeous crust (it has 2 paddles as well, for kneading). Most often, I make the go-to recipe on the side of the machine, but with all-purpose flour, instead of bread flour. It turns out perfect with little effort on my part. I drop in the ingredients, hit start and walk away till a shy 4 hours has passed, as the houses smells amazing.
Then Kirk brought me another “present”. A Victorio grain mill. Manual? Sure. And whisper quiet….unlike doing it my Vitamix blender’s dry container…where you need hearing protection. And you get a light upper arm workout. It only took 5-10 minutes to grind up enough flour for 2 loaves bread (and that was being interrupted constantly by 2 small children who wanted to “help”).
A short clip of it in action:
We went down to Bob’s Red Mill store the other weekend, and stocked back up on wheat and spelt berries. Nothing like the truck loaded up with a couple hundred pounds of grains!
Which of course led to some grain grinding, and then a few test loaves of bread. Out of this came a great recipe – it isn’t 100% whole wheat, but it rather has the best of both worlds: softness, perfect for sandwiches, and the nutty, warm flavor of whole wheat.
The oil provides a tender crumb, and also keeps the bread fresher longer (if I keep it tightly sealed it’s fine even 2 days out, just trimming the bottom crust off). The dry milk adds nutrition and also texture.
Wheat Sandwich Bread
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 3½ cups bread flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp dry milk
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
Following the standard directions for a Zojirushi bread machine, add the water, oil, then the flours, sugar, dry milk, and salt. Mae a small divot, add the yeast in it. Set for a standard loaf of wheat bread.
If you have a large enough bread machine (2 pound capacity), just follow the method for adding ingredients that it calls for. Zoji’s warm the ingredients for you (this is why a cycle takes longer), so with other machines you would need to use warm water instead, and stack the ingredients as above .
Once baked, remove from machine, let cool fully on a rack.
Makes 2 pound loaf.
For best results, once bread is fully cool, store in a large bread bag or 2 gallon zip top bag, and use within 1½ days. For long-term storage, once cooled, slice as desired and double bag, and freeze. Take out slices as desired, let thaw on the counter in a covered container.