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.
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.).