Monday, November 15, 2010

Adventures in Whole Wheat: My first home-ground loaf of bread

I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I've made bread since I was a teenager, but this is a definite first - 100% whole wheat bread made from flour ground by my own two hands. After I figured out my grain mill issues, I jumped right into a recipe for EZ Whole Wheat Bread from Crystal at Everyday Food Storage.

First, I milled just over two cups of wheat berries into 2 3/4 c. flour. It took me 7 minutes to grind it with my new Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe and it definitely gave me an upper body workout. Just another reason to get in shape!

Hand-ground flour made from hard white wheat

Next, I mixed together all of the ingredients for the bread in my Kitchenaid mixer, including this array of #10 cans:

Potato Flakes, Dry Milk, Vital Wheat Gluten and Hard White Wheat

This recipe includes vital wheat gluten, potato flakes, and vinegar as dough conditioners. They're supposed to help make the bread fluffy instead of a heavy brick.

My mixer took care of the kneading for 10 minutes or so while I cleaned up my kitchen. Two days of grain mill experiments had left it dusty and with a sprinkling of broken pieces of china. (Don't ask.)

Kneading the dough

The dough was heavy and gummy in texture when I set it aside to rise. After one hour, it was doubled in size

First Rising

and ready to be shaped into a loaf.

One more rising

Risen twice and ready for the oven

and then 25 minutes in the oven produced this golden beauty.

Ready to eat!

We usually eat Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat bread, so my family is already accustomed to whole wheat bread. This was similar in many ways but definitely better.

Where's the butter?

It had a nice, light texture. Those dough enhancers worked their magic. I was worried what the texture would be like when I felt the dough after it was kneaded, but it turned out great. It sliced well and would make wonderful sandwich bread. Compared to the store bought bread, it had a sweet, fresh, "clean" taste and was very filling.

The only problem was that there was a slight gritty bite every so often. I think we still need to work on wearing down our mill's stones and that problem will go away.

This recipe is so tasty and easy that I can see myself making it often... after I get an electric grain mill.

If you haven't found Crystal's site, check it out. You will find her recipe for EZ Whole Wheat Bread here and her YouTube video demonstration here and here.


  1. Gorgeous loaf!!! Great minds think alike -- I have a batch rising in my KitchenAid right now :-)

  2. The loaf looks wonderful! It was a vicarious thrill reading about your adventure. I will check out Crystal's site. Thanks!