Nov 10, 2010

Easy and Delicious Bread from my new Bosch!

HB here with a bread recipe that will knock your socks off!

After a year of saving my pennies and a little love (in the form of cash) from my handsome hubs, I bit the bullet and bought a Bosch mixer. I was nearly killing my beloved Kitchenaid mixer by forcing it to knead wheat flour and I couldn't stand to see my Kitchenaid die such a slow, painful death. The Kitchenaid was also yielding inconsistent results. More often than not, the bread was crumbly, dry and barely good enough for toast. So, I traded my Kitchenaid in for a guitar (seriously) and bought a Bosch!

For my initial venture into large-batch bread making, I chose to master unsoaked/unsprouted whole grain bread. The margin of error is greater in baking the latter and I'm still working on just the right technique. In the mean time, I've chosen not to make the best the enemy of the good and enjoy fabulous, freshly baked whole wheat bread made with real ingredients. While I love to cook, I also love to spend time with my family outside of the kitchen.

I will share my recipe with pictures very soon, but first, I must mention the lovely lady who sold me my Bosch. Dixie at answered my many, many questions, gave me a great deal on my mixer, shared her bread recipe (including tips on kneading, etc.) and even called me to make sure I was getting the hang of whole wheat bread making! She still has the special going that she offered me. Go here to read about it.

Dixie's Basic Whole Wheat Bread (my commentary added in italics)

6 cups warm water
2/3 cup oil (I use coconut oil because I'm an addict)
2/3 cup honey (I use more like 1 cup...can't help myself)
8 cups Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour (additional flour needed later)
2 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten (bought mine at Whole Foods, bulk food section)
2 Tbsp. Dough Enhancer (get it here)
3 Tbsp. SAF instant yeast
2 Tbsp. Salt
4-8 additional cups Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour

In the Bosch mixing bowl, combine water, oil, honey . Next add 8 cups of freshly ground wheat flour. On top of the flour, add Vital Wheat Gluten, Dough Enhancer, SAF instant yeast, and salt. “Jog” off and on using the “M’ side of the switch so that flour won’t rise out of the mixing bowl. Then mix on first speed until smooth. Then add the additional freshly milled whole wheat flour. Add it slowly as to not over flour. Stopping periodically to test it (we add the flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your floured finger when you “tap” it lightly) The amount of flour you add will depend on the moisture and protein levels in your wheat. Look for spots on the walls of the bowl that are clear of dough momentarily. You might stop the mixer and tap the dough gently with your finger to see if it sticks. It shouldn’t stick to you, if it does just add a little more flour. I add the flour very slowly towards the end.

This is what my dough looked like for this batch when I began the kneading cycle, but don't assume that your dough should look exactly like mine. The goal is to have a good not too wet, not too dry dough.

At this point turn your mixer to speed two and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough that was stuck to the sides and the floor of the mixing bowl will completely clean off. Form dough into 5-6 loaf pans.

Above is the dough, ready to rise. I bought these lovely pans from Dixie as well. They are the BEST bread pans I've used and they are priced very well. The red pan on the end is a silicone pan that works pretty well, but doesn't allow for a very tall rise because the pan is flexible. I didn't get it from Dixie. :)

When they are fully risen you should be able to put a small dent in the side of one of the loafs with your finger and the dent will not come back out, or it will come back very slowly. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Above are the risen loaves, ready to go in the oven (see below). Please inspect the inside of my oven well so that you will feel better about yourself as a housekeeper. :)

Beautiful, nutritious bread, fresh from the oven. At our house, we pop the bread out of the pan as soon as we it can be handled, about 30 minutes after baking, slather butter on each slice and enjoy the yumminess.

Using vital wheat gluten really helps with the rise and the texture of the bread. The gluten really helps the dough become more stretchy, which makes a good sandwich bread that won't fall apart easily. See the difference below:

I used the vital wheat gluten on the left, and the bread on the right did not contain vital wheat gluten. The pores in the bread on the right are quite a bit closer together, which makes for a more crumbly, less flexible bread.

Enjoy! Feel free to comment with any tips or inquiries.

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  1. This is nearly the same recipe I've used for over 10 years, although I use a different method of preparing the dough, and I add 1 cup of whole oats in the first stage of adding flour. Oats hold moisture so it has a softer texture and doesn't dry out as quickly (although once a loaf is sliced it never lasts long enough to get too dry!). Because I've tried to decrease our gluten consumption, I haven't made bread much lately, but am hoping to perfect soaked wheat bread soon. When you start soaking bread you can't expect the final product to be what you're used to without the soaking stage. I had so many fails with it that I gave up. Maybe after the holidays I'll get my gumption up and try it again. :)

  2. I am so glad you posted this because I recently acquired a mill and a Bosch as well. Here is my question...adding in the dough enhancer adds in: "Ingredients:
    Whey, Soy Lecithin, Tofu Powder, Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Corn Starch, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Enriched Wheat Flour (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Dry Yeast" I am thinking I don't want soy, soy lecithin, tofu or enriched anything in my food. Seems that adding this in makes the bread closer to the equivalent of what we buy in the store and for the same add shelf life. This is what got us in trouble to begin with...trying to add shelf life and make our breads more fluffy or soft. Same question with the gluten. Are we getting an overload of gluten in our diet? I am not in ANY way asking these questions offensively. I am learning and am wondering about these things! I appreciate the advice! Melissa.

  3. I do not add dough enhancer or gluten to my bread. I used to make it with freshly ground wheat. The bread was great without these additions. Now I make it with freshly ground SPROUTED wheat. I had to add some additional rising time (even with the Bosch mixer)since switching to sprouted wheat in order to get the same amount of rise on the loaves.

  4. I haven't used gluten or dough enhancer in my bread in a couple of years, actually. I should have said that earlier. I've added an egg at times, but usually don't even do that. I do a proofing stage by mixing all the ingredients with only 3 cups of flour. I turn the mixer off and let it stand for 15-60 minutes, depending on the temp in my kitchen. (As our house is rather cool in the winter, sometimes it takes a full hour to get that frothy, bubbly top proofing produces.) This seems to really help make the bread softer. Then I proceed, adding the rest of the flour and kneading on setting 2 for 7 minutes or so, shape my loaves and let it rise till they are rounded on top. It does great, although never does get the same quality that the dough enhancer and gluten give it. It does get eaten though. :)
    I know soaking/sprouting is best, but this is still a "better" choice on the "good/better/best scale" I use for determining how much time I can put into each of the foods I make.
    I have thought about making the same recipe with less yeast and stretching out the rising time. That would give the phytates time to be a little more neutralized than it would with less rising time. My mother used to make overnight rolls that only had a teaspoon of yeast to a huge amount of flour and they took 8-12 hours to rise. I'll try it soon and repost here. Anyone else tried anything like that?

  5. HB here-- I'm loving reading the tips of experienced bread bakers! :) I use the dough enhancer because I feel that really gives the bread a softer texture. There is a very small amount of soy in the ingredients. I use 2 tablespoons for a five loaf batch. Each loaf yields around 16 slices of bread. Two tablespoons of dough enhancer stretched out over 80 slices of bread does not concern me because we are more pleased with the end product. As far as the vital wheat gluten, I've not ready anything compelling instructing me to cut down on gluten, though I'm sure there is research out there pointing either way. No one in my family has gluten sensitivities, but my hubs does have a sensitivity to dry bread. :) I feel that the results gained from using the gluten are very beneficial. The gluten also gives a faster rise, which is important to me because my time is precious.

    I do think it is good to look at everything we are eating and make sure it is nourishing and nutritious, but in this case, I am not just making bread for myself, I am making bread for my husband and children. If I expect them to eat it untoasted, it needs to be soft for a couple of days. My husband has really helped me to not make the best the enemy of the good when it comes to food. I found that I was overly focused on the quality and nutrition of the food I was feeding our family. I was spending too much time researching, cooking and stressing over what we were eating. And, let's be honest here, half of the new recipes I tried did not taste good. I have finally found some basics that work for our family that are very, very nutritious. These basics are also leaps and bounds beyond foods we consumed B.W. (before Weston)when it pertains to nutrition and are just as delicious. I have to remind myself often that "life is more than food and the body is more than clothes".

    Again, thanks for the expertise and the questions! Happy baking!

  6. it's quick, it's easy! I think I can do this, cooking all by myself! thanks for sharing, good presentation

  7. Hi! We just wanted to take a moment to let you know about the upcoming Arkansas Women Bloggers get-together that will be held at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock on December 11th. Join us for food, fun and GIVEAWAYS and a chance to meet your fellow women blogger! Please RSVP on our website if you plan to attend.

  8. Thanks ladies! HB...I am probably more like you in this realm. I need my family to really enjoy this bread and at least to begin this journey...I need to bridge the gap between store bread and homemade. Just also trying to educate myself along the way! So much to learn!

  9. Does anyone reading this have a good soaked sandwich bread recipe to share that does not contain white four?



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