Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whole wheat bread: Back to the earth 2012!

One of the (many) kitcheny gifts husband brought to our marriage was a bread machine. He used it quite a bit in the bachelor days, I believe, but I haven't developed a knack for it, lo these six years of wedded bliss. I think I made a loaf or two and wasn't impressed with the results (this is all very foggy, being a number of years ago now). I blamed it on not finding the right recipe for the machine, or the right flour (I think it could have been that...) and I have always been loathe to go the bread mix route. That just seems like cheating. (No judgement if that's your thing, it's just not mine.)

This past fall, a local Facebook friend posted that she makes bread and even delivers, if needed. I tried a couple of her loaves and Seth fell in love. Raved about this bread. You'd think the bread has crack in it, the way he gobbled it up for his lunch sandwiches. But then (of course) I started thinking, how hard can this be (no offense, Sherrice)? I have a machine that purports to do all the work for me, right? So let's get this thing figured out.

And, as happenstance would have it, a blogger I follow every now and again posted just last week that her project for 2012 is "Back to the Land" (read her explanation for why she wants to get back to the land, it's a great project), and the first month would be bread baking. How very serendipitous! I commented to her that I would give bread making a whirl as well, did a little more investigation into recipes that might work, and arrived at the recipe below.

While the recipe as originally posted was tweaked so that it could be completely vegan, I did not choose to go that route. I was happy that this version used milk (not the dry powder as seems so common) and where she called for Earth Balance I used canola oil--though we often have Earth Balance around, just don't at the moment.

Whole Wheat Machine Bread
Yield: 1 2lb loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours and 10 minutes

1 cup almond milk (or buttermilk, skim milk, any kind of milk)
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter, vegetable shortening, lard, etc.)
2 tbsp agave (or honey)
2 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cereal or seeds (I used oats)
2 1/4 tsp (or 1 pkg) active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in the order they are listed into the baking pan of your bread machine.

Follow the directions on your machine for whole wheat bread.

Remove from machine when done and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least one hour.

Slice and enjoy!

Pretty lovely, if I do say so myself. Kinda kicking myself that I didn't get that going years ago! I envision some sandwich days ahead...

Warning: do not make this bread in the evening, when you'll be pulling a freshly baked loaf of bread out of the machine/oven just as you're going to bread. It will take all your willpower not to cut a few slices off and slather butter or whathaveyou all over it and go to sleep with sweet bread dreams...

 Frittata sandwich. Messy, but oh-so-good.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I'm going to give it a try this weekend!

  2. It looks absolutely delicious. All I can do is hope to be lucky... I love home made bread.

    Maybe it will come to me like the cookies have recently. The Good Book says that if you ask you will recieve.

    1. I have no doubt that you know how to ask! And your other half knows how to give, so you're probably in great shape.

  3. Very cute, Sherwin...I will set up my machine on my new counter in my new pantry and make a new loaf of bread, just for you!

    Your bread looks wonderful, Sherilee. I can smell it...mmmm!!

    Speaking of bread makers: back in the day my Mother would haul out a large metal 'bowl' on Sunday mornings and make her wonderful bread. It was one of those spotted metal bowls and it was very large. Out of that would come bread for buns, dumplings, poor man's bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh heaven!! Well, just the other day I found the same bowl with a lid at a local antique shop and it is called a 'bread riser'. It is in perfect shape and the lid has little holes in to let your dough breathe, etc.

    I am hoping the guy will part with it for a bit of a discount.

    Have fun making is in your genes.

  4. The saliva is already flowing!


  5. I'm going to invest in a bread making machine. You've inspired me!

  6. That sandwich looks INSANE, in SUCH a delicious way. I want to reach into the screen and grab it and just devour it!

    I used to use my bread maker at least three-to-four times a week, can you believe that? This was before I met Tom. I was always making bread- I figured out that I needed to use EXCESS amounts of yeast (the kind in the jar) and extra flour to get it just right. I think I also started adding bits of milk in there, too. Or something- it was about twelve years ago so I forget what my crazy recipe extension was.

    I was always trying new stuff out. My favorite was this cake-bread with chocolate swirls in it.

    Sometimes I wonder what the heck happened to the bread-making, cake-baking me. Was that really me? I have two bread machines gathering dust along with my Kitchenaid so I suppose it really did happen. Maybe I'll pull one of them out this year, start playing with bread again. Fresh bread is just so tempting and I eat FAR too much of it. The whole wheat garbage from the store is so unappealing I only use it for sandwiches- I'm never tempted to tear off a slice and munch on it, you know?!

    1. Was the cake-bread with chocolate swirls called babka? I've made that before, but not in a machine. I love that you used to make a lot of bread. I've always been less bready than most people, but I can always be persuaded by fresh, crusty bread slathered in butter. So that's probably why I'm a little wary of getting TOO into it. But so far so good, and having sandwiches as a quick lunch option for the guys is handy too.

  7. Thank you for encouraging me to get my bread machine out of the garage...

    1. Good luck with that! Mine has spent time out in the garage as well... glad it's back up on the counter where it belongs. Happy baking!

  8. Your bread looks amazing!!!! I'm so glad it turned out!!! Your sandwich looks tasty too. Thanks so much for taking the journey with me! :) :) :)


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