Easy 50/50 Whole Wheat Bread (by hand or stand mixer)

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Not all flour is created equal…honestly I’m still confused after all the research I’ve been doing on wheat bread/flour.

One fact: All flour is made from wheat, yes even white flour. What is the difference? There are a couple differences, one difference is in the kernel variety and the refining of the grain. There are Hard Red Wheat and Hard White Wheat kernels. Are they both healthy? Yes! The Red kernel produces a darker, heavier, stronger flour. White wheat kernel produces a much milder, easier to work with flour. So if you see a package called “white whole wheat flour” usually this has to do with the kernel variety used. If you are trying to increase whole-wheat in your diet and don’t like the taste of “whole-wheat”, try “white whole-wheat flour” it has the same nutritional benefits.

This bread recipe is a combination of whole-wheat flour and unbleached white all purpose flour. I do a measurement of half whole wheat with half unbleached white flour. It gives the bread a light soft texture you come to enjoy in white bread and you have more nutrition added into your diet. If you want a FULL whole wheat bread, I suggest White Whole Wheat flour to replace the all purpose flour, of course still buy unbleached for a healthier bread.

Whole Wheat Bread 50/50 recipe
1 & 1/2 cups of warm water between 110-115 degrees
2 cups of whole wheat flour (brown or white whole wheat flour)
1 package of Instant yeast. Or you can use Quick rise Yeast (Tip: If you want a fast rise and a strong yeast don’t use Dry Active Yeast. Even though you can, however it will take longer for dough to rise, about twice as long. If you choose D.A.Y most direction state “activating” yeast first. This is NOT needed, unless you think your yeast is old and you need to test if still active. When you buy packged yeast, typically you wont have issues)
1 TBSP Oil (I use canola)
3 TBSP Honey
1 TSP Sea Salt
2 cups of unbleached all purpose white flour (or use all White Whole Wheat Flour for more nutrition)

If you like to understand a little more about “whole wheat” continue to read, or skip to the section titles “To Start Recipe“.

Here are some simple explanations and guides for buying your flour and breads.

When buying whole wheat flour either using white or red kernel both flours have 3 main attributes.

1. Bran: the hard outer layer of the grain where the majority of the fiber lives.
2. Germ: This part is the tiny bit in the middle of the grain, also known as the embryo. This part contains the greatest concentration of nutrients.
3. Endosperm: This is what surrounds the germ. This is the largest part of the grain. It mostly consist of starch and contains almost no fiber or other

Avoid bleached white flour! It won’t say on the package “bleached” it will just state “white flour”. Always look for unbleached white flour. This uses a natural processes to make flour a golden white color. This just allows for a healthier product. Every little step helps.

White flour only uses the “Endosperm” part of the grain, therefore all the good and high levels of vitamins are not included. Note there are still nutritional aspects to white flour such as minerals and vitamins, however due to the processing of grain whole wheat flour has higher levels. Of course one of the biggest difference is whole wheat flour is the fiber, white flour has a much lower content. For example a 1/2 cup of white flour contains 1.3 grams of fiber while an equal serving of whole wheat flour has 6.4 grams.

White flour was produced for a longer shelf life. Whole wheat goes rancid quickly, why it’s important to store whole wheat in refrigerator if you do not use flour within a month or so.

Of course to make things more complicated. Don’t be fooled when it comes to buying your bread at the store. If the package of bread says “stone-ground, “100% wheat”, “multi-grain”, or “whole-grain”. These can be tricks used to confuse people when they are trying to eat healthy. (for info credit please go to decoding grain)

When adding whole wheat to your diet, you need to be focused on the word “whole wheat”. You must read the back of the label and look for the ingredient “whole wheat”. Why? There are no legal definitions given by the FDA. That means manufactures are fairly free to use them as bragging points, even if their products contain MORE refined white flour then whole grain.

For example: Wheat Flour means White Flour. Recall all flour is made from “wheat”. Again for true whole-wheat, it uses all 3 grain layers of the wheat kernel.

“Enriched white flour”. This is refined white flour, with some nutrients added back in.

“Wheat bread”. It’s not called “whole” just “wheat”, meaning its mostly white flour with little grain flour.

“Whole grain”. This doesn’t always mean it’s mostly whole grain, it could mean mostly white flour still.

“Made with whole grains”. Check the ingredients list to see if “whole wheat” flour or another “whole grain” is the FIRST grain listed in the ingredients list.

“Multigrain”. This may mean the food contains more then one type of grain. However look for the term “whole”. If “whole” grain is not indicated this could just mean refined flours are used.

“Stoneground ” is a method to how wheat is grounded.

“High in Fiber”. Manufactures may use synthetic fiber for their products. So check for ingredients like “maltodextein” and “inulin”, also known as chicory root fiber, oat hull fiber, oat finer, wheat fiber and wheat starch.

Phew! That’s a lot of info to understand what we are eating. Why is this good to know? You may notice in the bread isle all those bread choices. Which one is the best nutritional bang for your buck? I find that is important. I don’t want to spend more money on a loaf of bread that is mostly white bread with little whole wheat. If I’m spending more money for what I think is “whole wheat” it better be whole wheat”. Whole wheat is more expensive for me to buy it cost $.99lb where unbleached white flour cost me $.59lb.

Making your own whole wheat bread is going to allow you to control what you are eating. You actually know the loaf of bread is truly made with whole wheat.

TO START RECIPE:

Start out with:
1 & 1/2 cups of warm water 110-115 degrees
1 & 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 package of Instant yeast
1 TBSP Oil (I use canola)
3 TBSP Honey

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water then measure out oil first then the honey (honey easily removed from measuring spoon) and mix together. Then add whole wheat flour (I use stone-ground so it has sharper grain texture in my opinion) and mix together. This will be a soupy texture. Cover bowl and let mixture sit for 30 minutes. This allows the wheat flour to absorb more of the water. Whole Wheat takes longer then White Flour to absorb liquid.

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Now add:
1 TSP Sea Salt
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
2 cups of unbleached all purpose white flour (or use all White Whole Wheat Flour for more nutrition)

Next: Add salt first and stir well. Then add the rest of both flours a 1/2 cup at a time and mix well until completely combined. Cover again with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 min.

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Time to knead the dough: Lightly flour counter top. You will notice whole wheat dough is sticky. Don’t keep adding flour to knead. It’s okay if dough sticks to your hand a little. You can damp a towel and tap it with your hand to lightly wet it. This will aid into the dough not to stick. Of course if you are using a stand mixer you won’t need to worry about this. I knead all my doughs by hand.

I like to pre-heat my oven to 200 degrees while I knead my dough.

Knead by hand for a total of 15 mins to 20 min. First knead for 10 min then let rest for 5 min, then knead for another 5. If dough is not done kneading after dough check (push dough down with finger, if bounces back fast and indent does not remain dough is kneaded. If dough bounces back slowly or indent remains deep, dough needs more kneading)

Knead with stand mixer for total of 10 to 15 min. First Knead for 7 min, then let rest for 5 then knead for another 3 min. If dough check shows indent remains in dough (see hand kneading tip), continue to knead for another 2 or 3 min.

Once dough is kneaded place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough double in size.

If you pre-heated oven while you kneaded your dough, the oven is ready, TURN OVEN OFF before placing dough in the oven to rise. If you did not pre-heat your oven, wait for oven to warm up before putting the dough into oven. Once oven is warm, Turn oven off. Then place dough in oven to rise. This takes between 45-60 min. Placing the dough in the oven is not necessary, however it will speed up the 1st rise. You can place dough in a warm place in your kitchen and wait for it to double in size if you do not want to use the oven. (My home is cold during the winter. Warmer months I do not turn oven on)

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Once dough has doubled your dough is ready.

Lightly punch the middle to deflate dough. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. With your fingers tap down all the large bubbles. Then shape the dough.

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Take from the top and fold over to the middle. Take the left side and fold into the middle, then take right side and fold into the middle. Then take the bottom and meet into the middle. Pinch crease together and all the way from the middle to both sides.

I prefer to butter my glass loaf pan then oil it. Butter loaf pan well! Then place dough in the loaf pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise for 30 min. I placed a little whole grain oatmeal on top, only for looks.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Once dough has proofed it’s ready for oven.

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Place loaf pan in the pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 35 min.

Once bread is done remove from oven and let cool for 5 min. Then take a knife and run across all edges of pan to insure bread is not going to stick. Remove bread from pan. Place on a cooling rack and let cool for 30 min OR longer. Longer is better!! This allows the bread to set. If you cut while hot you will smoosh the bread.

Please plan on 3 hrs to make this bread.

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3 thoughts on “Easy 50/50 Whole Wheat Bread (by hand or stand mixer)

  1. Do you leave the dough covered with plastic wrap when you place it into the 200* oven for 45-60 mins? I didn’t and I think that’s where I messed up….

  2. If you don’t cover dough while it rises it creates a skin crust to develop on top of dough. I like plastic wrap because it seals the dough to aid for faster rise. You can use a clean kitchen towel, however I find when you place in the warm oven the dough skin is more exposed and runs a higher risk to dry skin. If this happens you can still use it, of course the bread wont be good in texture. I would see if removing the top layer of skin would help, then knead a few times. Then let dough rise for 15 min to make sure bread is okay. Then you can go back and reshape the dough for loaf pan.

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