Homemade Whole Wheat Amish Bread

In search of a simple, delicious, hearty, sandwich worthy, homemade bread? Well, here it is: Homemade Whole Grain Amish Bread! Take a look at your store-bought bread ingredients list... How many ingredients are in there, how many ingredients can you actually pronounce? Making your own bread is easy once you get the hang of it and all you need are a few simple ingredients!

When I started baking my own bread -- about 2 years ago I went the easy route. I found a used bread machine for $15 on Craig's List (score!) and started baking bread at least once a week. However, I wasn't in love with the bread that came out of the bread machine (the loaf was an odd, square shape and I was limited in only baking one loaf at a time), and the texture wasn't ideal,  so I started experimenting with some handmade breads. I found this Amish Bread recipe on Pinterest and made it regularly with the all-purpose flour. However, we prefer a whole grain bread, so I started experimenting and found this recipe makes the best whole grain sandwich bread. It is not 100% whole wheat - I have tried and tried, but it is just a fact - 100% whole grain bread is dense and crumbly. Fluffy, tender bread = white flour. So play around with the recipe and let me know what you think. I do about half wheat flour and half bread flour -- perfection!

You can find bread flour in the baking aisle of your grocery store. It can be expensive, so buy it in bulk when on sale. You can usually find it on sale for $2.50-$3.00/bag. I purchase my soft white-wheat berries in bulk from my local food co-op and grind it in my wheat grinder as needed. Usually every 4-6 weeks.

Here are the tools I use for baking bread at home:

Wheat Grinder -   I use (THIS) grinder
Stand Mixer -  similar found (HERE)
Bread Pans - (THESE) are my favorite brand
Cooling Rack
and most importantly (THIS) Bread Knife

Whole Wheat Amish Bread
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast ( I use SAF Instant Yeast )
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1. Heat the water and milk each for a minute in the microwave until warm to touch (if you have a thermometer it should read about 100-110 degrees F.) Err on the side of too cool as hot water will kill yeast.
2. Place heated water, milk, salt, sugar, oil, and yeast in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook. Place the 2 cups whole wheat flour in the bowl and 2 cups of the bread flour in the mixing bowl and start the mixer on low. Stir until no more loose flour is visible, slowly add one more cup bread flour until fully incorporated. If dough is sticking to sides of bowl, add remaining 1/2 cup bread very slowly until dough is smooth and forming a ball around the dough hook. (I used to find this the most difficult part of the process, but once you start making bread regularly, you really get the hang of it!) It takes about 5-7 minutes to get the dough fully mixed. It is better to over mix a little, than under mix.
3. Remove the dough from the dough hook and cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Place bowl in a warm spot (I place mine on my counter underneath my under-cabinet lights. Works perfectly!) for 1 hour until dough has doubled in size.
4. After 1 hour, punch down the dough, remove from bowl and knead on floured surface about 10 times.
5. Form a dough ball and slice down the middle with a sharp knife to form 2 equal dough balls. Shape each piece of dough into a loaf shape and place into greased bread pans.
6. Cover with damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes in warm spot. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
7. Take your egg and beat it in a small bowl, then brush lightly over the tops of dough loafs. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Remove bread from oven. Take butter and rub lightly over tops of loaves, then pop bread out of pans and allow to cool on cooling rack.
9. Once bread is completely cool you can slice and freeze.  A good quality bread knife is the secret to perfect slices, so make sure to invest in one like the link above. You can leave the loaf at room temperature unsliced for up to 24 hours, but if you won't use it right away, freeze it! Defrost overnight in the fridge as needed.
You can find an excellent tutorial on yeast breads on Mel's Kitchen Café, but this recipe is by far the easiest and best homemade bread I have made, yet!
Adapted from Amish White Bread

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1 comment:

  1. I've made this recipe numerous times and love it. The only change I make is to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil I love that it makes 2 loaves. We use 1 and freeze one. I also use http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-370-Bread-Slicer-Catcher/dp/B00004UE6T/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1438031071&sr=8-3&keywords=bread+guide to help get my slices uniform. I've ordered the suggested pans and they do make all the difference!


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