A few years ago my husband's cousin Ryan and his wife Kendra started making their own bread in a bread machine Kendra borrowed from her parents. My husband Jeff was at their house one day, and after just smelling the bread baking, he convinced me that we had to somehow make our own bread. I remembered that my parents had one from years ago when bread machines first came out and luckily they let me have it! You may have bought one back then, or maybe your parents have one in storage like mine and Kendra's parents. My point is, look around, ask around, or consider buying one because making homemade bread is much faster and easier than you may think.
I started making our own bread right around the same time I started learning about natural ways of eating and living. I made bread every few days for about a year and a half, then after I had my daughter it took me a while to get back into making it. I've been making it on and off again for about 6 months or so, and more recently I've been using it much more consistently and trying to not buy bread anymore. I usually have a loaf of store-bought bread in the freezer for when we've run out of bread and need a few quick slices.
This recipe is so simple and healthy that it almost doesn't make sense to buy bread. It doesn't have any preservatives so it only lasts about 4 days, but it's usually gone by then anyway. It's also cheaper than buying a loaf of bread.
100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey (try to use raw, local honey)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup ground flax seed (optional)
- 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten (good to use when using all whole wheat flour so it's not too dense)
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's)
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
Add ingredients according to your bread machine's instructions. For mine the ingredients go in the following order: water, oil, honey, salt, then dry ingredients, add the yeast last.
Bake on the whole wheat setting. On my machine it takes 4 hours. I let it cool on a wire rack, then store it in a gallon size ziplock bag.
My favorite way to eat this yummy bread is right out of the oven with "butter". We use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread. It doesn't haven't any hydrogenated oils, it's healthier than butter and margarine, and it has a great, salty flavor. Trader Joe's has the best prices on Earth Balance spreads.
It's often a side at dinner and we dip it in olive oil and shredded parmagiano reggiano cheese. Even the kids eat it like that, which makes me feel great that they're eating nutritious whole grains that have a high protein content, plus they get the benefits of olive oil.
I've been using this recipe for about 4 years, and although I love it, I'm in the process of looking for new ones. If you have a great 100% whole wheat bread recipe, please let me know!