This bread is so easy to make. I mix up the flour mix ahead of time so I can just dump it into my KitchenAid and get to the yeast/water part. I've tried doing this by weight but I just find measuring to be more accurate. If you want to weigh, the 5 cups of flour should come to about 650g, if you're measuring properly (I'm talking about you dip-and-dump flour scoopers). While it's mixing, the amount of flour you need to add to get the texture right will vary depending on how humid it is in your kitchen. Bench proofing will also vary depending on the temperature. Anyway, enough talk.
- 5 cups (650g or so) plus 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 5 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups warm water (110°F)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1/4 cup oil or melted margarine
|Just walk away. Really.|
|Sticky, stretchy, but willing to let go.|
When it has doubled, take it out and dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and poke it to redistribute the larger bubbles, and divide it in half. Shape the halves into balls, turning under again to get the surface nice and tight, then shape into loafy shapes.
|Loafy shape on the right, for reference.|
|Slashed and ready for the oven.|
Let the bread bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bread reads between 205-210°F with a probe thermometer. Don't go over that or you'll have icky dry tough bread.
Whichever way you like your crust, leave the bread alone for 30 minutes - don't cut it or tear a piece off or anything. Avoid the temptation; it's worth it to let the starch set.
If you want to turn this into raisin bread, add an extra 2 tbsp of brown sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon to the flour at the beginning. Soak some raisins in hot water while the dough is rising. When it comes out, cut it in half and stretch each half into a long rectangle.
|Did I say sprinkle? I meant meticulously arrange.|
|Let's see that again...|
I haven't tried making this bread into rolls of any kind yet. That's next on my list.