Melissa’s Homemade Bread Technique ~ A Guest Post

I’m pleased to feature the first ever guest post on Simplify, Live, Love! Please welcome Melissa from Home School Stamper of 3! Melissa is showcasing how she bakes bread – which is both similar to, and different from, my own technique. I hope you’ll enjoy her post and visit her blog for other fun posts, like this one on making homemade soap – something I am going to try very soon! If you have questions for Melissa, feel free to comment on her post her.

Without further ado, here’s Melissa:

Today, I’ll be sharing a basic whole wheat bread recipe using the Whisper Mill (known now as the Wonder Mill) and Electrolux DLX. Like Michelle, I grind my own wheat and have for almost 10 years. Now, the health benefits alone are worth the effort. However, not only is it healthy, but grain can be stored indefinitely, it saves us loads of money, it teaches our children to appreciate and understand how food and the body work together, and best of all there’s no need for an air freshener when bread is baking!

My ten year old Whisper Mill and 5 year old DLX Mixer are my favorite kitchen companions (next to my kids)!

Ingredients:
12-14 cups fresh milled whole wheat flour
5 cups warm water
1 1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup honey
2 TBSP dough enhancer
5 tsp. salt
2 1/2 TBSP yeast

***NOTE***I use a 50/50 mixture of hard (bread wheat: higher gluten and protein) and soft (pastry wheat: lower gluten and protein) wheat which results in an all-purpose like flour

My mill grinds about 7 cups of grain in under 2 minutes. The wonderful thing about fresh milled flour is none of the “good stuff” gets sifted away! There are 3 parts to a grain of wheat: the bran or fiber, the germ or seed embryo, and the endosperm or starch (AKA…white flour). The bran is the protective coat of the grain which is generally sifted away and used in animal feed. The germ, which is also sifted away, is what would become the sprout and is a very rich source of vital nutrients! Once the grain is broken, the germ begins to oxidize and will eventually spoil; this is why the healthiest parts are sifted away. Within the first day it will lose about 45% of its nutritional value and 90% after about 3 days. Finally, there’s the endosperm which serves as food in the form of starch for the germinating plant. Keep in mind that it lacks any significant nutritional value, but is the most common part of the grain used in the average American diet.

Let’s move on to making bread! You’ll start by adding all of your wet ingredients, 4 cups of flour, and the remaining dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on med-high speed and continue to add flour.

When the dough has pulled away from the side of the bowl and I can touch the dough without much sticking to my fingers, I know I have added enough flour. Keep in mind, the amount of flour will vary depending on weather, temperature, and altitude. From this point I mix for approximately 7 more minutes. One very helpful hint I recently found out about the DLX, is to take the scraper out of the mixing bowl and the dough hook will require less assistance.

After my dough has finished mixing, I transfer it to a larger container for the first rise. Let it rest in the oven with only the light on for approximately 45 minutes or until double. Once it’s doubled, I begin preheating my oven to 350* and shaping my dough for its second rise.

I could make 4 12in. x 4in. loaves of bread with this batch of dough but normally I do not. Instead, I make a pan of dinner rolls, a pizza crust, a pan of cinnamon rolls, a loaf of bread and a couple of flat breads.
The rolls, pizza, and flat bread are baked for 15 minutes, cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes and the bread loaf takes 30 minutes.

As you can see, we get several meals out of a basic dough recipe and what you can do with it has endless possibilities. Some more ideas are pretzels, pigs in a blanket, garlic twists, and cinnamon raisin bread.

Thank you, Michelle for hosting my first guest post!

Linking up: Frugal Tuesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Healthy 2day Wednesday;

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Comments

  1. Hey Michelle! I want to thank you again for hosting me on your blog. By the looks of your photos, you're having a wonderful time on vacation! Have a safe trip home. Melissa
  2. Great idea to make more than one kind of bread with each batch of dough. Sometimes you can't see the obvious when it's staring you in the face. I have made buns and loaves at the same time, but didn't think of all the options that you did. Good post.
  3. Everything looks delicious. That is a lot of oil for the recipe, do you find that it helps keep the bread moist and sliceable? I have so much trouble when I make a loaf bread. It squishes right down when I go to slice it because of the hard crust.
    • That is more oil than I normally use, too. I'll ask Melissa. I usually add 1/2 oil, plus extra when I take it out of the bowl to keep it from sticking. Thanks for your comment!
    • First, I should probably try a different recipe to have some sort of comparison...I've used this one for many years! But, I haven't had any trouble with slicing or noticed any moisture problems. In fact, this recipe stays nice and moist for several days. I don't think the crust is too hard either...I brush mine with a little water as soon as it comes out of the oven to help keep the crust soft. Thanks for the question Jennifer!
      • I was just getting ready to email you, Melissa! :-) I have to try our your recipe. My everyday bread isn't hard either. The artisan bread I bake does have a hard crust, though, and I love it.
  4. I have never used a dough enhancer. How important is it in preparing bread & where do u purchase this? TY
    • I think the dough enhancer just helps the bread stick together a bit better and might give it a longer shelf life. I purchase mine either online (amazon, Pleasant Hill Grains) or from the Amish Bulk food store I love.
    • I don't think that it's really important, but it does aid in the rising process. My boys prefer a fluffy loaf and I find I can achieve what they like with the dough enhancer. I purchase mine through a co-op, but I have also seen it at my local organic market, and you can even make your own. Different recipes can be found on-line.
      • Here is some information about dough enhancer: http://www.breadmachinedigest.com/tips/dough-enhancers-and-how-to-use-them.php. It says it helps texture and also helps give the bread a longer shelf life. :-)
  5. Ahh.. I have a similar versatile recipe, but I make it with plain flour. I guess it's versatile enough to be made with wholemeal, too... (link here) That bread looks great, I must say!

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