Our Friday update:
Dana’s daughter is down with the stomach flu. They are playing the 48 hour Russian Roulette of “Who Will Get Sick Next?” Bad way to spend the weekend.
And my kids are out of school today. Welcome summer. Ish. SAHMs, you know what I’m talking about.
I’m working on a wedding post for next week, in honor of June. Tentative title: “What I learned from fainting on the altar at my own wedding”. Oh yeah.
But today, we want to leave you with something a little bold in the homemade department.
Whole Wheat Bread.
I resisted this for a while, because it seemed so Little House on the Prairie. Or I Love Lucy.
I tried a few versions and a bread machine. The kids complained that the loaves were dense and dry. Shea complained that the loaves from the bread maker had a giant hole in the bottom, which interfered with his sandwich making skills.
Finally, I found a recipe that worked for us: No Fail Whole Wheat Bread. It makes two loaves. We freeze one while we eat the other. It’s light and moist and by far the easiest and least time consuming of the recipes I’ve tried. I can make the two loaves in two hours, but I really only have to stand over the mixer for five minutes. The rest of the time is waiting and baking time.
I have a Kitchen Aide 6 quart stand mixer with a dough hook. Mine was a gift, but Kitchen Aides are expensive. I did some research and there are lots of reasonably priced (under $100) stand mixers out there. Or you can use a hand mixer for the first part and then hand knead the dough for five minutes after mixing.
Thanks to Progressive Pioneer (www.progressivepioneer.com) for this recipe!
No Fail Whole Wheat Bread
3 ½ cups warm water
1 ½ teaspoons yeast (I buy Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast in jars because I use so much)
¼ cup honey
7 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 generous tablespoons olive oil
2 loaf sized baking pans
Combine water, yeast and honey and stir gently. Allow to sit for ten minutes so the yeast will activate (it will start to look foamy).
Add 3 ½ cups flour, all the salt and olive oil and stir together. Let sit one minute. Add the rest of the flour and mix. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough attachment on high for 7 minutes (this will mix and knead). If doing by hand, you need to hand knead it for 5 minutes after you mix it.
Let it sit in bowl for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. When it is ready, turn it off (you just need some heat in there for the dough to rise.
On floured surface, cut dough in half, shape into loaf and plop into both pans. Stick in the oven (it should be OFF) and let rise until the top of the dough is at the top of the pan (about 45 minutes).
Remove pans from oven; preheat to 350. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Let cool ten minutes then turn out on flat surface to cool.
I store mine in ziplock bags. One I leave out for sandwiches and the other I freeze until we need it.
Nutritional Information (2 loaves, 14 slices each)
132 calories per slice; 1.3 g fat; 0 g cholesterol; 168 mg sodium; 26.4 g carbs (2.6 g sugar); 3.3 g protein; 1% calcium; 8% iron; health grade: B+
No preservatives. No chemicals.
I promise, promise, promise that this is a fast and easy recipe for busy moms. And it’s cheaper, once you get the ingredients in your cupboard. Try it once and see what you think.
PS: there is NOTHING like this bread right out of the oven. A little butter, a little honey. Heaven.