We love bread! To get a decent loaf of bread in this town can cost $5 or more, though, so I make my own several times a week. I don't have time to mess around with crazy ingredients or exacting measurements, plain and simple will do, thank you.
I buy whole wheat flour or wheat berries in 50 lb bags, which we go through surprisingly fast. This recipe does not skimp on the flour but it does give you a hearty loaf that will keep you going all day. Plus, you really only need two ingredients (I don't consider water an ingredient).
You will need:
6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 TBS Yeast
2 Cups Water
optional 1 tsp oil
Combine six cups of whole wheat flour and two tablespoons yeast in a large bowl and mix well. Add two cups of warm water and stir. Knead for at least five minutes until it forms a very stiff dough. If it still needs more moisture, add more water one tablespoon at a time.
If desired, take one teaspoon of lard or vegetable oil and rub it all over the dough. This will prevent it from sticking to the bowl while rising. Cover bowl with a damp cotton flour sack towel and let rise in a warm place for six or more hours. Remember that heat kills yeast, not cold, so do not place your dough anywhere too hot in an attempt to speed up this process. I simply make my dough in the morning and bake it in the evening. This long rise also gives it a bit of that sourdough flavor without the hassle of maintaining sourdough starter.
When you are ready to bake your bread, punch it down and let sit for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Bake in a large oiled loaf pan or cast iron pan for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.
Slide a butter knife around the edges of the pan and flip the whole thing over to carefully remove your loaf. Allow to cool before eating or storing away. Wrap in a tea towel and then in a plastic grocery bag to keep it from going stale and leave on counter or place it in the fridge. This bread will last at least a month in the freezer.
Thin slices make great sandwhiches and toast, and thicker ones for dipping in hot soup. My favorite way to eat it is with a little organic olive oil and garlic. I finely chop at least two cloves of garlic (if not more) and cover generously with high quality olive oil. I stir in a pinch of sea salt, oregano, and basil and let sit to meld the flavors for a couple of minutes before dipping in! I also like to spoon it on top of pizza. This is a wonderful way to eat raw garlic and boost your immune system during the winter months and we eat it almost every day to keep from getting sick!
You can also add your garlic and herbs directly to the dough or mix in molasses, raisins, and cinnamon for cinnamon toast!
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