I don't know how this bread baking seed planted itself in my head, but, as I nurture it, there it happily continues to live and grow! I've tried several different methods, with the goal being a soft loaf of sandwich-able wheat bread. I'll share my no fail method, which is a combo of like 4 different recipes, but it yields beautiful bread every time. One loaf usually lasts us the entire week.
Baking Beautiful Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups of King Arthur bread flour
2 cups of King Arthur whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dried milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup molasses (honey works too, but is more expensive to use if you make it frequently)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant active yeast
pinch of sea salt
*sometimes I add sun dried tomatoes and basil, flax seeds, or oatmeal*
1 1/4 cup warm water
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
2. Add dried milk, olive oil, molasses
3. Add water
4. Stir until dough starts to form a ball in the bowl
5. Tip onto a floured surface and kneed for 10-15 minutes (the best part!)
6. Put ball of dough into a clean oiled bowl, cover and
allow to rise until it is almost poofed over the bowl
*my kitchen is pretty cold, so to better facilitate rising, I boil some water (make a cup of tea) and pour the rest of the water into another bowl. I then
place a wire rack on top of it and put the bread
bowl on top of the rack.
7. After the bread has risen, beat it back down, roll it into a loaf-ish shape and put it into an oiled loaf pan.
8. Cover and allow it to rise (*repeat boiling water/ wire rack if your kitchen is chilly) until it poofs out of the pan by an inch or 2
9. Bake at 350 for 4 minutes
10. Tip out of pan and let it cool
I really enjoy knowing what is going into my body and prepare most of out food from scratch- this is not to say that we have fully attained foodstuff enlightenment. I have been known to snack on some less than healthy stuff now and then (box of Cheddar Bunny, anyone? No. Ok how about an entire sleeve of Newman O's. Or a carton of Ben and Jerry's). I do try and avoid chemical additives/anything created in a lab.
Moderation is so important- if your baseline diet (and when I say diet I mean what you eat, and not some crazy fad diet) is healthy, you are good to go and a slight (or even major) deviation now and then is really no big deal! I read that mindful eaters work on expanding their diet, not restricting it. I like this idea.