Homemade Healthy Bread

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that my husband is the master breadmaker of the two of us.  I just don’t have the patience needed to deal with bread, most of the time.  But I love homemade bread.  And with the renewed vigor of my commitment to traditional food preparations, I thought I’d try to make my own loaf of bread to eat this week.  Because eating healthy just isn’t as bad when there are bread-and-butter sandwiches involved.

I used a recipe I got from Passionate Homemaking for soaked whole grain bread, cut it down to my needs, and made a couple of tweaks.  I’m going to post the entire process as I experienced it, even though I’ve linked the recipe, since the original recipe is for 4 loaves of bread and plenty of people commented wanting to know how to make less.

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

Soaked grain mixture:

2-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oats

2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds

2 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. melted ghee

The day before you want bread, mix these together.  It’ll take some doing, as there isn’t a whole lot of moisture here, but it should eventually come together into a kind of dry scone-like dough.  Cover tightly and leave out at room temperature for 12-24 hours (I did 18).

Yeasty stuff:

2 tsp. yeast

3 Tbsp. warm water

dab of honey (maybe 1/2 tsp.?)

Mix this together and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until it gets foamy and alive-looking.  Then add this, along with 2 tsp. salt (I use Real Salt) to the dry soaked grain mixture.  This will eventually come together into a goopy dough.  Add some white or sprouted flour to get into a soft, cohesive mass.  Knead more flour into it as you knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until it becomes somewhat smooth and beautiful (the oats and flax will mar the smoothness just a bit).  It should feel bouncy.

Retire this lovely lump of dough to a greased-up bowl, rub the top with some of your greasing medium (I used softened ghee), and cover with a damp towel for an hour and a half to rise.  It’ll double in size.  Then, punch it, flip it, and let it rise again for 45 minutes.

Then, form it into a loaf and put it on it’s final baking destination (I used a 5×9″ loaf pan that was greased and floured) and cover with your damp towel to rise again for 30-45 minutes, or just until doubled in size.  About 10 minutes before you want to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cut a slit in your loaf to control where the crust will crack while baking.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees and the loaf is browned and gorgeous.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out and cool on a wire rack.  Let it cool for a combined 20 minutes, at least, before slicing.  Grit your teeth because you’ve been smelling fresh bread for the last hour.  Then, slice off the heel, slather in good quality butter, maybe some honey or jam, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.  If you want to keep it longer than a couple days, I recommend slicing it up and freezing it in parchment and aluminum foil.

Makes one loaf.

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sahmjs on August 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

    This is making my mouth water…we used to have a breadmaker when I was a kid and I just love the smell of fresh baked bread. After reading this Mom’s Guide (http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/), I started to pay attention more to what I feed my son. I was shocked to learn just how much sugar and processed food we eat. He does what I do. Guess it’s time for some changes. My son might not have the patience for this whole process but I could see us having fun baking this together. He has no concept of bread that doesn’t come from the store! Lol


    • The most labor-intensive part is the same as unsoaked bread, plus maybe 5-10 minutes the day before getting stuff put together. I hope you do bake bread with your son, though. I remember when a friend of mine was telling me about taking her stepson to the apple orchard and he picked an apple, turned it around in his hands and said “Daddy, where’s the sticker?” He didn’t realize that they don’t grow with stickers on them. Heartbreaking!


  2. Posted by Erin on August 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

    A friend told me about her sons who saw whole carrots with green tops and one said, “What is that?” and the other said, “I dunno, carrots?” and the other said, “No, that’s not carrots.” LOL. All because the only carrots they knew were store bought mini carrots in plastic bags.

    I’m looking forward to making this bread! Thanks for posting!


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