Whole Wheat Bread

Let’s face it – the aroma of bread baking is wonderful. Homemade whole wheat bread is much better than store bought bread. When baking bread yourself, there are no preservatives and you have total control over the ingredients. 

One kind of bread that is generally a nutritious and versatile addition to a healthy diet is whole wheat. The USDA recommends making half your grains whole and whole wheat bread can help you do that. You might ask why whole wheat is healthier than white bread.

Whole wheat bread is made from flour that contains the entire wheat kernel, including the bran and germ instead of kernels that have been refined and overly processed. It is in the minimal processing that wheat retains the most nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). Leaving the wheat kernel intact makes for a less processed, more nutritious bread. Additionally, a diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

 

Today’s recipe

Whole Wheat BreadThis recipe is for an incredibly healthy and oh so tasty whole wheat bread that will make you never want to buy store bought bread again. Additionally, the recipe is extremely versatile, so you can tweak it to your tastes and your moods. For equipment, I use a bread maker, but this recipe can easily be adapted to standard baking in the oven as well.  

LIQUID

For liquid, you can use water if you like. Typically, I either add some coconut milk powder to the water or mix it with some oat milk  (which I make myself using this recipe) for some added nutrition and flavor.  If you are not vegan, you could also substitute standard milk for the water.  

FAT & SWEETENERS

Sometimes I like some sweetness in my bread. This particular day when filming I decided it was a sweet sort of day. The recipe calls for vegan honey. You could easily use standard wildflower honey or not include honey at all.  This is completely optional.

I like to avoid as much fat as I can so I chose to go fat free in my recipe. Typically, I substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil. In my opinion,  applesauce is sweet enough on its own without added sugars. If I do add sweetener to my bread, I usually choose coconut palm sugar, which has a low glycemic index, minimizing any blood sugar spikes. If you choose to use oil instead, you could do that instead of the applesauce.  

FLOUR

When it comes to flour, I like to mix them. In my experience, a mix of whole wheat and bread flours tends to give it a smoother texture. The flours are something that can also be mixed around. You could easily incorporate smelt or coconut flour in the mix as well. As long as the total amount of flour stays the same, feel free to experiment.

RISING

You might notice that I add vital wheat gluten to my bread recipe. This is an optional component but I found that when included the rise is much better. For yeast I use a red yeast. You could use a standard yeast as well if you choose.

ADD-INS

Sometimes I will add a smidge of vanilla and cinnamon into the mix for variety also. If you wanted a more savory bread you could add in some seasonings. Might I suggest some rosemary, basil and parsley? Perhaps a bit of oregano? The possibilities are truly endless. 

THOUGHTS…

I can never resist taking a slice right out of the bread maker when it is still hot and steamy. I spread some plant-based spread on it and perhaps a bit of jam and it is like heaven. If you try the recipe, please feel free to leave me some comments to let me know how it came out. If you do some substitutions and additions please share. I would love to hear about it!  

The complete recipe is below. Here is the video!

       

Yield: 1 Loaf

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

There is nothing like homemade bread. This recipe is extremely versatile and makes a tasty bread that is heart healthy with whole grains, no fat, no eggs and no dairy but all the great taste!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water or milkĀ 
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup honey or honey alternative
  • 2 TB oil or applesauce
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 TB vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 TB sweetener (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add water or water/milk mixture to baking pan
  2. Add honey or honey alternative
  3. Add oil or applesauce
  4. Cover liquid with the flour or flour mixture
  5. Sprinkle salt on top
  6. Sprinkle vital wheat gluten on top
  7. Add sweetener (optional)
  8. Sprinkle yeast on top, making sure it does not get wet
  9. Put baking pan in bread machine, lock down and set it
  10. Wait for the bread machine to make bread
  11. Remove from bread pan
  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  13. Slice and serve
  14. Store in ziploc bag to keep fresh

Notes

* I sometimes combine non-dairy milk with the water or add some coconut milk powder to it. The recipe works fine with just water, but the creaminess of a milk adds something really nice to the bread.

* In lieu of the honey I use a vegan honey alternative. If you are not on a vegan diet, feel free to use honey.

* Oil is not needed. Applesauce makes a nice substitute. I use unsweetened applesauce. It adds to the texture of the bread and gives it a little sweetness.

* A mixture of flours works best for the texture of the bread. You can use whole wheat flour and omit the bread flour if you choose (it will be less smooth in texture but it is perfectly fine), or you can combine the two as long as there is at least half of the whole wheat flour (3 1/2 cups total flour) the bread will be fine.

* The vital wheat gluten is optional but I find it makes a much better bread when it is included.

* The sweetener is entirely optional. When using a sweetener I typically choose raw coconut palm sugar.

* I use a raw red yeast for my bread. Standard yeast will do as well, just use regular yeast and not fast acting yeast.

* Make sure the liquids are completely covered by the dry ingredients before adding the yeast. The yeast should not get wet when first adding to the bread maker pan

* This recipe can also be used for baking in the oven. I just appreciate the convenience of my bread maker.

RECOMMENDED INGREDIENT LINKS:

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

* this information is an estimate

 

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