Baking Day! We make bread about once every two weeks, depending on how much we eat and how hot the weather has been. But when we do bake, boy do we bake! This morning we made whole wheat soft pretzels, a double batch of whole wheat bagels, a whole wheat loaf, a half wheat loaf, and a cinnamon raisin loaf.
We use whole wheat as much as we can and I will often sprout it if I have time that week. We will sometimes cut it with white flour, though, to save time and money and to create a more palatable product. The reason I say that it saves time is because my beloved, Zachary, lovingly hand grinds all of our wheat. He often does this every morning so that we can have freshly ground wheat to use in our pancakes or waffles. When I don't have such a luxury, I absolutely love King Arthur brand Whole Wheat White Flour.
You can use white, wheat, or a combination in any of these recipes, although using more white flour will make them raise more and make it prettier. They taste great using whole wheat, though, and are much healthier for you. Here's all of it together (minus a couple bagels and pretzels that got eaten immediately):
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels:
I decided to make these today on a whim because I had a craving for those honey mustard pretzel bits that they sell in the junk food aisle and wanted to try my hand at making a healthy version. I figured that since it was my first time making pretzels, that they wouldn't come out that well and I could chop them up and make my seasoned pretzel pieces. Let me tell you right now, these are definitely not getting chopped up- they are wayyyy too stinking good for that!
I use this recipe from averiecooks.com, but I substituted whole wheat flour for white. They're not quite as pretty, but they are still tasty! One hint: don't skip the basting with butter and definitely go for the kosher salt, you won't regret the couple extra seconds it takes!
Whole Wheat Bagels
We make these New York style bagels fairly often, but I've never gone for 100% whole wheat before. I actually like the flavor and texture much, much better with the whole wheat but because I used a denser flour, the dough did not rise as much as made smaller bagels. Luckily, I made a double batch and now we just have tons and tons of 3/4 sized bagels! If you want to try your hand at this with whole wheat, I would suggest doubling the batch but making fewer bagels if you want them to be regular sized. It isn't as necessary, though, because the whole wheat fills you up and keeps you going so much longer than white flour, so you don't need to eat as much. I found this great recipe over at Sophisticated Gourmet.
We made three different loaves using the same recipe. The only difference is that one was whole wheat, one was half wheat, and one was half wheat with cinnamon and raisins.
We make this bread every single week without fail, but add different variations on it. The cinnamon raisin is an absolute must have in the morning as toast.
I'd never made this bread with whole wheat before either and while it's still a lovely little loaf, it did not turn out as spectacularly as the half white/half wheat one. Although they have the same amount of flour in them, the whole wheat is much heavier and so it did not rise as much. The yeast simply could not stand the heft of the whole wheat. It just makes for a denser (but not necessarily worse) bread. I think next time I try it, I might try to double the yeast that the recipe calls for. You can find the recipe for this bread over at Rabbit Ridge Farm's blog. The molasses and oats she includes are optional and can be substitutes for cinnamon and raisin or simply left out.
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