Saturday, October 30, 2010

Whole White Wheat, Who Knew?

Back in my store bought bread days, I had noticed certain breads containing the ingredient: whole white wheat. I thought that was an oxymoron. I didn't understand the meaning of whole white wheat. I thought it was some kind of gimmick or ploy to get us to think it was healthy when it was still "white".
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. A bread baking friend of mine tried the recipe for a fluffier whole wheat bread. Afterward, I asked her how she liked it and she said that her family still preferred the recipe they had been using. I felt compelled to try that recipe since I'm on the quest for the perfect wheat bread that my family (including a 2- and a 5-year-old...not to mention my picky hubby) will eat and enjoy. She introduced me to Bread Beckers, where she buys her wheat berries, (Unfortunately, I don't have a grain grinder...maybe Santa will bring me one this year...hint...hint) and she uses their bread recipe.
It simply states 5 cups flour, and I thought she must use some bread/all-purpose flour to make this a soft and less dense bread. However, she said she uses hard red wheat, hard white wheat, and spelt. NO all-purpose or bread flours!! I looked up hard white wheat and found that it contains the same health benefits as hard red, but is sweeter and lighter than hard red. It is very popular in bread making.

I decided to give it a try and it is VERY soft and delicious!

2 cups hot water
1/2 cup oil (I made a batch using butter and another one using extra light olive oil. Both worked well)
1/2 cup honey (may use 1/4 cup)*

5 cups flour (I used 2 c. hard red, 2 c. hard white, and 1 c. spelt)
3 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbs. lecithin (optional--I left this out)
1/2 Tbs. gluten (optional--I added this since I already had some on hand)

Combine water, oil, and honey. Add 3 cups of flour, yeast, salt, lecithin, and gluten. Mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 min.).

Let rise until double.

Shape into loaves or rolls, place in greased pans, and let rise again.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min.

Makes two 1 1/2 lb. Loaves.

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