Friday, April 13, 2012

Perfect Bread

Bread is my Achilles Heel...I love it...a little too much, if you know what I mean!  I wish bread was a superfood, because then all of my problems could be solved, but alas it is not, and I have to limit my consumption just like anyone else!  This bread reminds me of the bread my mom used to bake for us when we were kids!  Before we knew about healthy vs. non-healthy, the bread my mom made was white, soft, and just the best bread you ever had!  Slathered with butter and homemade jam, this was my favorite snack after school when we came home!  Then we got wise to the dangers of "white stuff", and the bread became a thing of the past!  Until recently...I happened upon a flour called Ultragrain, one day while shopping at Costco, and decided to give it a try.  It boasts of all the same properties of whole grain bread, no bleaching, no stripping, it's just ground much finer...I decided to give it a try!  This is the recipe for the best bread you'll ever holds together so you can make sandwiches with it, it's moist, heavy, light, and no one will even know that it's whole wheat! (My husband, who hates whole wheat bread's texture, loves this bread!)  Best of all...this isn't a fussy recipe, I've made it so many times that I don't even measure most of the ingredients any more!

In a large bowl, combine:

5 c. warm water
4 T. yeast
6 T. sweetener (agave, honey, molasses, palm sugar...)

Set aside for about 5 mins. and let the yeast get frothy

Once the yeast has activated, add:

2 T. sea salt
6 T. oil (I've used coconut oil and olive oil...both are great)

Stir to incorporate, then add:

10 c. Ultragrain flour (if you can't find this, that's ok...I've used King Arthurs white whole wheat flour before, and have gotten pretty good will be a heavier bread though.)
1/2 c. vital wheat gluten (this is usually in the baking aisle...don't skip this ingredient)

Stir until everything is incorporated, and turn out onto a heavily floured surface.

Knead for about 3-5 minutes, adding a little more flour if it starts to stick.  You'll know when you can stop kneading, because the texture of the dough changes from sticky to stretchy.  You should be able to feel it come together.

Grease your mixing bowl, and put the dough back into it.  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, or a clean dish towel, and let raise until it has doubled in size.  (Depends how warm your kitchen is...may only take 45 could take up to 1 1/2 hrs.)

Turn back out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 4-5 equal sections (some bread pans are slightly bigger than others, so you can do 4 loaves with those, or 5 of the slightly smaller ones). 

Punch down each section into a rough rectangle shape, and tightly roll into a log, pinching the seam to seal.  With the palm of your hand, squeeze each end of the log to release the air bubbles, and fold up, pinching off the seams to seal.  When you flip your log over, you should have something that slightly resembles a loaf of bread.

Place each "log" into a greased bread pan, cover, and let raise for about 25-30 mins (or until they are as big as you want them.)

Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins (when you tap on them, they should sound hollow...that's how you know they're done)

Remove from oven, remove from pan, and place on a cooling rack.  Brush the tops with olive oil or vegan butter (optional).

If you can wait for them to cool before cutting them, that's best, but if you can't, just be gentle :)

This will make 4-5 loaves...I personally double this and make 8-9 at a time, then freeze them.  If you're going to make the mess, you might as well only have to do it once a month! (And trust me...this is so good, you'd be surprised at how quickly you go through this!)


  1. Courtney was up visiting me this weekend and we made 6 loaves of bread. At first I was dreading it because I thought it would be difficult and take a lot of time...boy was I mistaken. So easy and little time AND so so good! I love this recipe!!!

  2. Thanks for mentioning how simple it is! It really is one of the easiest bread recipes I've made! (and best tasting!)

  3. I can't wait to make bread!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!