After playing with ingredients, a few not so great loaves, and finally sweet success.... our perfect bread recipe was born! By 'OUR' perfect, I mean that it fits my definition as perfect in that it's non-processed, so easy, and full of nutrition! If you're more interested in those things, you can read about how a few simple steps can help your family over here at this post. You'll find a challenge there as well! So drum roll please.........
Our Perfect Bread
|Yes....I know the water counts for EIGHT whole ingredients :)|
And pictured here, I threw some bulgar wheat on top and pressed in before baking!
4 Cups Hot Water
1/2 Cup Honey (I use local)
2/3 Cup Salted Butter
2 Tbsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Yeast
1/2 C. Flax Seed Meal
6 C. Whole Wheat Flour
2-5 C. White All Purpose Flour
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
In Mixer, mix Butter (room temp is best), 4 C. of the wheat flour, Flax Seed Meal, Salt, Honey, and HOT water. Go ahead and put your mixer up unless you have one of those bad boys that will mix dough with no worries. I don't, so I go it by hand from here.
Add Yeast, stir a couple of times just until you get it moved into the mixture good. Add the other 2 C of your wheat flour and work into dough. This is where you have to put some muscle into it, but that's okay-it works!
Now here's where it might get intimidating! Bread making is one of those things best taught in person because you're going for just the right consistency in your dough. But once you get it down, you can bake bread with your eyes closed! It can differ each time with the humidity level and just because I guess. So, just know you are going for dough that stays together good (or pulls away from the sides of your bowl) and isn't too sticky to work with. To get there, add flour a little at a time (this is where I start using my white flour). And to be honest, sometimes I don't even get it to where it's 'unsticky' before moving to the next step! When I do that, I just throw in more flour all over the dough and my hands when shaping it for loaves! Anyhow~when you've added enough flour to have your dough ready, stick a clean towel over your bowl and set it aside for about 5 minutes.
Grease your bread pans while you're waiting. I use 3 loaf pans and make rolls on a flat pan out of my remainder of dough. These are a wonderful, fresh baked snack for the kiddos.....and keeps them from sneaking a pinch of off my cooling loaves!
Okay-back to your bowl! PUNCH that baby down a time or two! And...work your loaves and rolls out~ This is where extra flour comes in handy! How sticky, or not, your dough is, tells you how much flour you need to use! I don't go by rules here, just by look and feel! If it's sticking to your hands-throw more flour in and work your balls! Lengthen your balls into a loaf shape-then SPANK them to get rid of any bubbles! Yes....this is my favorite part of the process! There's something stress relieving about spanking raw dough....weird, I know! Put dough into loaf pans and stick them in your preheated oven.
Let rise at this temp for about 30 minutes. When it looks about the size you want your final product to be...bump up the temp to 350 degrees (with the bread still in the oven) and bake another 20-30 minutes. You'll know it's done when it starts getting golden on top and makes a hollow sound when knocked on!
Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack!
But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4