My friend Carolyn gave this recipe to me a while ago. She had tried many wheat bread recipes before she found this keeper. She makes a lot of bread for her family of eight, so I knew this recipe would be excellent. And it hasn't failed me yet. I've even tried most of the listed variations for the oil and sweetener; all were good. I think this bread was my first time using coconut oil in a non-treat, and I couldn't taste it. Virgin coconut oil tends to shine through, but it worked wonderfully in this bread.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour by Cooking for Seven
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) lukewarm water
3 tablespoons melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey, molasses or maple syrup
3 1/2 cups (18 3/8 oz) Hard Red (traditional) or Hard White (17.5 oz) Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons flax meal, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
To Prepare the Dough:
(Hand Method) Combine all of the ingredients, and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then knead till smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
(Mixer Method) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then knead by machine until fairly smooth, about 10 minutes. Allow dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
To Shape the Loaves:
After the dough has risen, gently deflate the dough, shape it into a log, and place it in a lightly greased large (9×5 inch) bread pan or two small bread pans. Cover the pan with a towel or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes-1 hour, till it’s crowned about 2 inches over the rim of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F about halfway through the rising time.
To Bake the Loaves:
If desired, brush top of loaf with milk or egg white and sprinkle with oatmeal, poppy seeds, nuts, etc. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until it turns a deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Yield: 1 large or 2 small loaves