One of my favorite smells is the delicious smell of fresh baked bread! This is a fragrance that I have known my entire life. As a little girl, I remember my mom making bread on Friday afternoons which then became part of our traditional winter Friday night supper of fresh baked bread and homemade soup. There is just something wonderful about the warm, yeasty smell of a fresh from the oven loaf of bread!
One of my summer jobs as a high school student was to work in the kitchen at a youth camp. My daily job was to make 24-48 loaves of bread each day. I soon had the recipe memorized and could weigh a pound and a half of bread dough in my hands just by the feel of it.
I have carried on the tradition of making homemade bread for my own family for 25 years now and still love the smell of fresh baked bread!
One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my Bosch! It was one of the first kitchen items we purchased after we got married and were still in college and I can say that it has been worth it’s weight in gold for the amount that I use it! It sits on the counter rather than in a cupboard because it is used at least twice a week and often more than that. I love the ease of making bread with my Bosch.
Vital wheat gluten flour is used in this recipe and here’s the reason why. Adding just a cup of vital wheat gluten flour to the bread makes the end result light and fluffy with a great texture. Without vital wheat gluten flour, you will still have a delicious loaf of bread but it will be very crumbly when you slice it.
Whole Wheat Bread
- 4 Tbsp yeast
- 5 1/2 cups warm water
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup oil canola, vegetable, or olive
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 1 cup flax meal
- 8 cups whole wheat flour
- 6 cups white flour
Combine the yeast, warm water, brown sugar and salt and let it set until the yeast gets bubbly. Usually about 10 minutes.
Once the yeast is bubbly, add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl. Mix and knead until the flour is all mixed in. I like my dough to be soft to the touch but not stick to my finger. If it's still sticky, you may need to add a little more flour. Add flour, if needed, but 1/2 cup and then mix and check. You don't want your dough to get too dry and tough!
When the bread is all mixed and the right consistency, cover it lightly with a towel or loose lid and let it rise until double in size. This usually takes about an hour depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Once the bread has doubled in size, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Knead each piece of dough to get all the air bubbles out of the dough and then shape into a loaf and place into a greased bread pan.
Allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size again. I like to cover them with a towel while they are rising, but this may just be the way my mom made her bread! 🙂
When the loaves have doubled in size, carefully place the bread in the preheated 350 oven and bake for 20-24 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when you tap the crust when it's done. Remove from the oven and remove the bread from the pans and allow to cool on a rack. Once the bread is cool, bag it up to keep it fresh. You can freeze bread for 1-2 months.
Slice your fresh bread and slather it with butter and enjoy!
Breadmaking Shopping List
My FAVORITE Kitchen Appliance!
Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
Whole Wheat Flour