Homemade Wheat Bread

Wanting to try something new I decided making a loaf of homemade wheat bread would keep me busy for a few hours. I was anxious to try out our Country Living Grain Mill that had arrived a few weeks before (a complete write up on that will be coming soon). It took me a while to find a recipe with basic ingredients that I already have around the house . I don’t make bread regularly so I don’t have bread flour which was called for in many of the recipes.

country-living-grain-mill

This is the ingredient list for the recipe that I followed cut into quarters.

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/3 tablespoons honey
1 1/3 tablespoons molasses
3/4    tablespoons dry yeast
3/8   tablespoons salt
2 2/3 tablespoons oil
2 1/2 cups wheat

bread-making-ingredients

Next came the fun part- Grinding the wheat. As I mentioned this was the first time we used the grain mill and it wasn’t properly mounted. Even after adjusting the setting to a good balance of fine/coarse which made the grinding much easier it still took over a half hour to grind the 2 and a half cups and what a work out! Of course I wasn’t just grinding, I was grinding and holding the unit down simultaneously.
The wheat that we used is hard red winter wheat. We buy it in bulk in number 10 cans so it will store for quite a while. The plan is to get comfortable using this in place of white flour whenever possible. I’m starting to think about using it for pasta but thats a long way away. I have to get this bread thing down first.

hard-red-wheat

ground-red-hard-wheat

Back to the recipe- In a bowl with the warm water add the honey and molasses. Sprinkle in yeast and let activate. Add salt, oil and flour and mix well. Knead 10-12 minutes and cover. Let rise 25 minutes or until doubled.

wheat-bread-loaf

From here on I strayed from the recipe and plopped the dough in the bread machine. The recipe said to bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes.  It was nearly 95 degrees outside and with no air conditioning heating up the house with the oven didn’t appeal to me. The bread machine is an old hand me down Mister Loaf  that we had never used before. Turns out it didnt work properly and all of that hard work that went into grinding the wheat was wasted. There is no pretty final product- this attempt was a failure. I will try again once we the get the grain mill mounted.

About Rhi

Rhi enjoys spending time with her family and working on the homestead. During spring and summer she is often found tending to her garden, and mini-orchard.

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One comment

  1. Grinding your own grain is fun and delicious. We have a Country Living grain mill, too, and like it a lot, although the bulk of what we use is ground with an electric impact mill (Nutrimill). I guess it makes sense that if fresh-ground coffee is better then fresh-ground grain is better. We made the switch and even my 9-yo son says most store-bought bread is rather bland in comparison. I just wanted to commend the book “Flour Power” by Marleeta Basey. It is a great combination of practical points and recipes and background on why whole-grain is better. My wife has found that adding a small amount lecithin or similar dough conditioner really takes out any dry/cardboard tendency and produces a silky moist mouthfeel, so you might like to give that a try. Regarding your experience with the bread machine, my wife and her friends love their Zojirushi bread machines. One idea is to reverse what you did — let the machine do the hard work of mixing and kneeding, then pop the dough into a conventional oven to bake. Anyway, best wishes on your bread-making adventure, we can’t imagine going back. It is one of the reasons why I tell my wife “You enhance the quality of my life.”

    – Steve

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