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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!