Monday, February 20, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread

Today is my one year baker-versary.  When I wrote up a little post about being excited that my bread machine has paid itself off with the savings over store bought bread, a couple of people asked me for my recipe.  My original recipe came from my aunt-in-law (is that even a real thing?) who has been baking their bread for many years.  When I first decided that I wanted to bake our bread I needed a tried & true recipe & some sage advice & Jean provided both.  From there I tweaked the recipe to use up the whey that I had as a byproduct of yogurt making.  I got a hard core bread machine (it's a Zojirushi for those that care) that makes a horizontal loaf because I wanted to be able to use it just as I would a traditional loaf.  I also purchased a slicing guide so that I would be able to cut uniform slices, thus keeping my portion sizes the same-ish.

A couple of people asked me about how WW "friendly" my recipe is.  That is all in your perspective.  I have never cared for light bread, so I've always made the choice to eat less slices of nutrient dense bread rather than eat more slices of nutritionally void light bread.  It's all about personal preference.  With my slicing guide, I get 14 meaty slices out of each loaf, which calculates to about 3 PointsPlus per slice.  For me, the slices are beefy enough that I make my sandwiches with just one slice & find it quite satisfying...but maybe some of the satisfaction comes from the fact that I Ma Ingalls-ed that bread with my own hands...something I NEVER thought I'd be doing.

Whole Wheat Bread:
1 cup warm, liquid whey
1/3 cup warm water (I put the water & whey together in a small saucepan & warm on the stove)
2 Tbs oil (I use canola)
2 Tbs agave nectar or honey
3 cups whole wheat flour (I don't have a preference of brand, & am trying to work up the courage to start grinding my own)
2 Tbs wheat gluten
3 Tbs buttermilk powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

I toss it all into the machine with the liquids on the bottom & use the Quick Wheat setting (I like to take it out about 5 minutes before the machine is done for a slightly lighter crust).  I have NO idea how one would go about making this or any other bread without a far as I'm concerned that requires some sort of degree from Hogwarts.

The whey is by no means a requirement.  If I've run out, I sub an equal amount water & it turns out fine.  I use restaurant kiddie cups to divide my whey into one cup portions & then freeze them.  When I'm ready to bake I turn one whey cube into the saucepan with 1/3 cup water over very low heat.  My experience has been that a loaf made with whey is better initially but doesn't have the staying gets staler faster.

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