Monday, 8 August 2011

Homemade Wholegrain Bread

So my first bread recipe will be one of our favourites in our house - Wholegrain Bread.
I have spent many hours and ingredients trying out different versions of Wholegrain Bread however I have never really been happy enough to make them more than a few times.  I find that they tend to come out like a brick and forget trying to get the kids to eat it! So a few months ago when I discovered the Green Goddess Recipe (Wendyl Nissen - the link for her Website is on the sidebar) I was instantly converted.  Although I must confess I have changed a few things around in the recipe to make it how I like to.
In this recipe you add Gluten flour which to be honest until I read her book I had never heard of and this creates a lighter almost fluffier type of bread, if that makes sense.  I have not yet had any trouble getting the boys in the house to eat it and that includes the biggest boy, so it's got to be good!
Previous to this recipe I would always revert back to buying tasteless, cheap, cardboard wholegrain bread from the supermarket as I can't live totally on white bread (which I would still bake) and diet wise need the wholegrains - indeed though we all need wholegrains in our healthy diets!
Anyway I have included some photos of the process particularly for anyone new to making bread. Here is the recipe:    This makes TWO quite large loaves - they weigh around 1 kg or just over each .

1 1/2 cups of Kibbled Grain (Bulk bins at Pak N Save)
3 cups of White High Grade Flour
3 cups of Wholemeal Flour
1 cup of Gluten Flour (I get this in the green Healtheries Range in Countdown and Pak N Save)
1/2 cup of Linseeds (Flaxseeds)
optional - any other seeds you might like, I have used sunflower and pumpkin
1 tsp of Salt
2 x sachets of Instant Yeast
600mls of Milk (for baking and bread making I used milk made up from powder but up to you)
2 tablespoons of Oil
4 tablespoons of Honey (Runny honey is the easiest but whatever is on your shelf will work)

First of all soak the kibbled grain in a bowl of warm water to remove the dusty residue.
Mix the flours together with the salt, seeds and yeast sachets.
Heat the milk in another bowl till its warm but not to hot (A good test is to stick your finger in the milk and count to 10, if it's uncomfortably hot at 10 its to hot and needs to cool down, if you can't feel it it's to cool and needs to be heated more). Add the honey and oil to the milk. Drain off the kibbled wheat and add this to the milk and mix it all through.

The milk mix and the flour mix

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk mix in.  Mix with hands or large spoon to form a dough, then give a good knead on a floured bench until it is springy and the surface of the dough ball is smooth.  Adding more flour as needed. Takes about 8 minutes of kneading.
Put into a greased bowl large enough to allow it to expand to double its size and then place in a warm spot with a towel or glad wrap (cling film) over the top.  If using cling film remember to grease the top of the dough lightly so it won't stick to it when it's time to remove it.  To grease I prefer a spray oil.

About to start the rising process, the wheat pack is underneath to give some more warmth - just not to hot!

I put my dough next to the fire and I tend to give my bread an extra bit of love by placing a warmed wheat sack or hot water bottle underneath the bowl.  If my fire isn't going it gets popped into the hot water cupboard with the wheat pack.  On a sunny day sitting it in a sunny spot is normally sufficient for rising.

Finished rising

When it has risen to double or more its size (last night it took nearly an hour) then very gently push the middle of the dough down to release a little air and divide it into 2.  Gently knead it into the right size to pop into your loaf tins or if you wanted to make these into bread rolls shape them into the rolls now and place on a floured tray.  Put back in the warm place again to do a second rise.  Turn the oven on now to about 190degC.

Ready for the second rise

Finished the second rise - ready for the oven now
 Once they have risen again which last night took 25mins to get them up to this size, pop them into the oven and bake for about 25-30mins.  Just a warning though - these may look ready after about 18mins or and may even sound hollow when tapped, however they will not be cooked through! I took my first lot out when they had browned and they were still dough in the middle.  So make sure they don't burn but keep them in for at least 25mins, they crust up very well but this won't over cook them.

We worked out the cost of these loaves and did some comparisons.  For this mix making these two big loaves it costs NZ$6.30 to make, so $3.15 per loaf.  Initially I thought that was a bit pricey but then again I was buying the cheap bread which does not in any way stack up to these loaves.  So we went and compared them to the more expensive well known loaves in the supermarket, Molenberg, Burgen and Vogels.  This bread is right up there in quality, in fact even more so as you know exactly what is in it and there are no preservatives and you are free to add whatever ingredients to change it up that you like.  Molenberg for a 700gm loaf is $4.39, Burgen for a 700gm loaf is $4.69 and Vogels for a 750gm loaf is $4.89,  so for this loaf weighing 1.1kg costing $3.15 is definitely value for money.  The bread freezes well.

I'd love to hear if anyone tries this and has any comments or if anyone has any other wholegrain recipes they'd like to share.

Happy Bread Baking :)

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Hiya, thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. I can't wait to read your comments and to share ideas, I am a busy mummy with 2 boys to run around after so I will try and get to comments as quickly as I can...if there is a delay in seeing them published this is why, not because I don't care, I'm just taking some time to smell the roses :)

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