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As my wife will attest, I love bread. There is nothing more satisfying than a slice of bread topped with green peppers, tomatoes, or cucumbers. While white breads have their place, what I really crave is that flavorful crunchy crust and moist center that you find in a whole wheat loaf. These days it’s easy to find “rustic” breads thanks to local bakeries and chains such as La Brea. The downside is that many “whole wheat” breads are made partly with white flour. Store-bought bread can also be quite pricey, often even six dollars for a single loaf. Hence, for the past months, I’ve been experimenting with baking my own 100% whole wheat bread. It’s been a challenge! I even said that getting a whole wheat loaf that is not dense, dry, and sandy may be more difficult that qualifying for the Boston marathon. This was attempt #20 (or so). While not completely perfect (the loaf looks like a Frisbee), it turned out airy and moist so I decided to share the recipe with you. The total cost of ingredients is only around a dollar. In making this recipe, I used the lid of the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven. I greatly recommend this product. It’s been in constant rotation in my kitchen since buying it few months ago. The skillet lid is great for any type of sautéing and pan frying, while the pot works great for making popcorn without burning it. Buying it through the above affiliated link is also a great way to support this site, as I receive a small percentage of the purchase price from Amazon.
Ingredients: 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1.5 cups warm water, tablespoon of yeast, handful of salt, caraway seeds (optional) Prep Time: most of the day spent waiting for the dough to rise, slightly over an hour for baking
Below is a video showing the consistency of the dough at this point:
Here is a video showing the dough after the second rise:
We next knead the dough to better develop the gluten that gives bread its structure. This is typically done by dumping the dough onto a floured surface and repeatedly stretching and folding over with your hands. What I am showing here instead is the method I use, in which I do the kneading in the bowl using a wooden spatula. It seems to work just as fine and your hands stay clean.
Thank you all who donated to my LA Marathon charity fundraiser. I didn't quite reach the goal of 3:25, but managed a new 6 minute PR in 3:29:59. More here.
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