Mom, wondering what to ask for, for Christmas? Here are a couple of things I got years ago and have been SO glad I did. These would also be a wonderful gift for a newly-wed couple, or a grown daughter who is interested in baking.
Have you ever considered baking your own bread with your own freshly-ground wheat? It’s one of the best decisions I ever made for my family. I hardly ever buy store bread anymore. The taste of whole wheat bread with freshly ground flour is not even comparable to store bread. I just make a couple big batches every month or so and freeze it. It’s really not time consuming.
There’s nothing like the smell of freshly- baked bread, and it’s such a good feeling knowing that you are feeding your family something that is super nutritious for them too.
We grind our own wheat berries in our WonderMill Grain Mill, and the result is amazing.
I used to think whole wheat bread had to be a really heavy consistency and strong flavor. What I discovered is that the strong flavor was actually from wheat that had gone rancid on the grocery shelves. My kids hated whole wheat bread till we started grinding our own wheat. The WonderMill is so easy to use. I grind up a container-full, and store in the refrigerator each week. That way it’s fresh and ready when I need it. I LOVE my WonderMill . Some of my grown kids come back home to grind up their wheat too. It’s not too loud, and it’s easy to use and clean. Well worth the investment! And it will last you for YEARS!
But now, does the thought of spending 10 minutes kneading your dough discourage you? Let the Bosch mixer do it for you!
I’ve had mine for years ( I can’t even remember how many years. It’s been that long!) I’ve never had any issues with it. Works great every time and saves me all that time kneading bread dough. Just add your ingredients, turn on the Bosch and let it do the work for you. When 10 minutes is up, just pop your dough in the bread pans to rise. A half hour later, it’s ready to bake. Yum! Be prepared to make a large batch (and this Bosch will handle it) because your family will devour it before you know it.
When cool, I slice with an electric knife, and store in bread bags in the freezer. Then when someone wants a slice or two, they can just get it out of the freezer. It will stay super fresh. I love to get up in the morning, pop a slice or two in the toaster and spread with butter and honey or butter and cinnamon or raspberry jam! Serve with a glass of milk and piece of fruit and you’ve got a nutritious breakfast with very little effort each morning.
Oh, and one more thing- I buy my yeast in bulk: Red Star has been a great brand for me. Once you open it, you have to store in the refrigerator, but the package comes freeze-dried, so it’s great for storing to have plenty on hand. I buy mine at Amazon or Sams Club. It works well. In years past, I’ve tried other brands and it’s so frustrating to use all that flour only to have your bread not rise well. Red Star has proved tried and true for me.
Here’s our favorite whole wheat bread recipe from my cookbook Homemade with Love
Light Wheat Bread
This is my basic recipe that I use most often. It’s quick and easy to make, and light for a 100% whole wheat bread.
- 12 c. freshly ground whole-wheat flour
- 4½ c. warm water
- ½ c. oil
- ½ c. honey
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. dough enhancer (optional, but nice)
- 2 Tbsp. Wheat gluten (optional, but nice)
With Bosch mixer , mix water, oil, honey, salt, and wheat gluten for about a minute. Add 6 cups whole-wheat flour. Add 3 tablespoons yeast to ½ cup whole-wheat flour and add to mixture.
Continue to add more flour, one cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides (about 5 to 6 more cups). Knead in mixer for 10 minutes.
Wet counter with water; also wet hands and rolling pin. Divide dough into 5 sections. Now you choose—plain, cinnamon, sweet rolls, etc.
~For loaves of bread, roll dough flat. Roll dough to form a log. Roll edges in. Place in pan, poke with a fork.
~For cinnamon bread, roll dough flat and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Spread with a fork. Then proceed to roll into a log and fold edges in. Place in pan, poke with fork.
Let bread rise in a warm oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Turn oven up to 325° and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes and turn out onto its side to cool. YIELD: 5 loaves.
For sweet rolls:
When rolling out dough, roll flat; sprinkle with cinnamon and spread with honey. Roll into log, and then cut into 12 equal pieces. Place in pan to rise. Follow directions above. Glaze with a confectioner’s sugar glaze after baking