Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Ever!

I always wanted to be the kind of mom who bakes her own whole wheat bread, never having to buy loaves from the store. Over the years I've experimented with so many different recipes and found that each one was good right after it came out of the oven, but after that it became dry and crumbly. It was really very frustrating! It wasn't until last year that my friend Michele over at sweet luvin' in the kitchen shared her favorite sandwich bread.  It was love at first bite, but the real test was the next day, the bread continued to be soft and delicious.  No more crumbly bread for us!  The best part about this recipe is it is really simple.  You can't mess this one up, really... trust me!

One other reason I wanted to make bread for my family is because of all of the hidden additives in sandwich bread.  I am avoiding soy and it is added to bread to keep them soft, moist and elastic.  By baking our own we are able to have better tasting, just as moist and elastic bread without the additives we are trying to avoid.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Makes 2 4x8 loaves

4 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (freshly milled is best if you have a wheat grinder)
1 tbsp instant yeast
2-4* tbsp vital wheat gluten (you can substitute vinegar if you want) found on the baking aisle.
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 -1/2* cup potato flakes (not the kind with milk and butter added, just plain potato flakes)
3 tbsp olive oil (you can also use softened butter, or coconut oil)
2-4 tbsp honey (I've been using raw agave and doing 2 tbsp per recipe, it is working great!)
2 cups very hot tap water

*note: always start with the higher amount, then as you get comfortable with the recipe, you can adjust to use less of these ingredients if you desire.  I still use the higher amount because I like the way my bread comes out.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, yeast, gluten, salt and potato flakes.  Mix for about 30 seconds to evenly distribute the dry ingredients.  Add the oil, honey, and water.  Mix for another 30 seconds.  If the dough is too dry, add a little more water about a tbsp at a time.  The dough should be wet enough to leave a little residue on the sides of the bowl.  Mix for 10 minutes (just set your timer and walk away).  Do not add any more water or flour at this point, it will not incorporate and will ruin the dough.

When it is done mixing, the dough will be smooth and elastic.  Spray the inside of a large plastic bowl with cooking spray.  Place the dough on in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap or clean cotton towel and let it raise until it has doubled in size.  It takes between 30 to 60 minutes, so keep an eye on your dough.

After the first raise, gently punch down the dough with your hands.  Separate the dough into two equal balls.  Form into loaves, and place in pans lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover again with plastic wrap or cotton towel and let raise  again until about doubled; it should raise just above the top of the pan.  Near the end of this raising time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let them cool in the loaf pan for 7-10 minutes.  Then remove from the pans and continue to cool on a wire rack (don't let it cool completely in the pan, it will become a sticky mess and ruin the bread.).
You'll find that your family will be hooked too!  I make two loaves a couple times a week and we've found it never dries out and becomes crumbly, makes beautiful toast and even better sandwiches.  The fresh milled wheat gives it a nutty flavor and it is really just delicious!  Hope you love it as much as we do!


  1. What brand is your suggestion for potato flakes? I have never bought them before

    1. Honestly I just buy store brand. Nothing fancy. It's just to keep the bread moist. I only use them for baking bread.

  2. I have a wheat grinder, but have only used it once (I'm bad, I know). The wheat was a few years old, and I didn't think the bread I made with it tasted very good. Could the wheat have been bad? I thought wheat should be good for several years. I'm going to try this bread RIGHT NOW (with store bought flour)! Hope it turns out!!! PS I'm so glad you were with Grandma B the other night and were able to help her.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...