Friday, April 2, 2010


Last year my goal was to be able to make the PERFECT whole wheat bread! I tried many recipes, techniques, etc. I would be set on a recipe that I thought was THE ONE and make it several times, then get tempted to try another and another. A year and a half later, I have come up with a combination of recipes to become what my family considers the PERFECT whole wheat bread! I had been using that recipe for quite some time, then I stumbled upon this interesting recipe calling for applesauce. I had never heard of using applesauce in a yeast bread so it intrigued me and I had to try it. It was AWESOME! I still haven't abandoned my other tried and true recipe, but now I can say I have two go-to recipes for whole wheat bread!

Here are some tips I've learned along the way to the perfect loaf:
* Don't let your dough get too dry! When you are adding the final amount of flour, dump it in about 1/2 c. at a time and wait till it's mixed in all the way before adding more. Stop adding when dough is still tacky, but not sticking entirely to sides of bowl.
* When using a stand mixer, let it mix on speed 1 or 2 (no higher) for as long as you dare (before motor gets too hot); usually 6-8 minutes. I consider this my kneading for the most part. I take the dough out and just knead it on the counter for maybe 1-2 minutes, then divide into loaves.
* I weigh my dough to get loaves equal size so they cook at the same rate.
* If at all possible, use freshly ground wheat. I use a combo of white wheat and red wheat.

(Adapted from Mindika Moments blog: AMAZING MINNESOTA WHOLE WHEAT BREAD)

2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
2 3/4 cups of warm water
1/4 cup melted butter (I used Canola oil)
4 1/2 cups wheat flour (I used fresh ground)
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar (I used combo)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup smooth applesauce
2 3/4 cups -3 3/4 cups wheat flour
optional additions: approx. 3 TBSP. Vital Wheat gluten, approx. 1/3 C. Dough Enhancer, 1/4 c. Soy Lecithin, flax meal (I use these and I think they do make a difference!)

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar.
2. Add the wheat flour, butter, honey, salt and applesauce. Beat until smooth.
3. Add enough of the remaining flour to create a smooth, elastic dough that can be handled.
4. Let rise until doubled. Form into three medium size loaves or two large loaves.
5. Place in a greased loaf pans and let rise until doubled.**
6. Bake at 350 degree for 40-50 minutes or until done. (I baked mine for 35-40 min.)

**A trick to getting bread to rise faster is to preheat oven to 200 for 1-2 minutes. Turn oven off and place bread in oven. After 30-45 minutes of rising, turn oven on to 350 and set timer for about 40 minutes, adding more time as needed.


Kelli said...
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Carrian said...

This looks wonderful! Hooray for your birthday too! When is it? Mine is the 16 and our daughters is the 24th so it's a busy month. Thanks for keeping up with Sweet Basil!! I'll look forward to your comments and watching yours too!

Kelli said...

How funny, mine is the 16th too! April is a big birthday month for us as well.

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I have a very hard time baking loaf bread evenly. It always seems cook unevenly, i.e gooey inside overcooked outside. Any suggestions.