Whole Wheat Bread

My son is tired of having store bought pita pockets.  It is the only bread I can find that doesn't have soy or dairy in it.  So, I knew I was eventually going to have to make some bread.  I rock yeast rolls that are made with white flour. I can make a loaf of white bread that will make you wonder why you ever bought Wonder.  But, to make bread with 100% whole wheat flour?  I knew that this bread comes out denser and heavier than what most people care for.  I did not want to post a recipe until I had one that was lighter than my past efforts.  The secrets are good yeast, proofing the yeast, a firm hand when kneading, and a good 2 risings.  It is still heavier than white bread, but the flour is heavier and denser, so one will just have to get used to it.  My son was THRILLED with this, and was very excited he got bread again. 

Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 cups of warm water - 110 to 115 degrees - I use a thermometer
2 teaspoons of yeast
3 tablespoons of rapadura
Mix these three together in a large mixing bowl and let sit 5 to 10 minutes.  This is called proofing the yeast. Don't skip this step.  It wakes the yeast up and gets everyone moving!  The yeast, after 5 or 10 minutes, should be frothy, bubbling, and puffy looking on the top.  If no significant change has occurred, then dispose of the mixture and try again.

To the proofed yeast add:
1 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of coconut oil

Stir until completely combined.  Add in more flour, 1 cup at a time until the dough ball starts forming and you can no longer stir, approximately 2 more cups.

Sprinkle flour onto a flat surface and turn dough out and sprinkle more flour on top of it.  Set a time for 11 minutes.  Start kneading.  Initally this will be easy, but around the half way mark, this will become exercise.  Put your back into it and do not shy away or quit early. This dough needs a good work out, it will be next to impossible to over knead it :-) 

After kneading it for 11 minutes, poke your finger lightly into the top.  If it is springy and firm, then you can stop kneading, if it is still soft and has no bounce, then you need to knead it for 5 more minutes. 

Here is a link to help you learn to knead bread:  Bread Kneading

After kneading the dough, place into a bowl that has been greased with coconut oil and then brush top with more coconut oil.  Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm spot to let rise.  I turn my oven on to 350 and put the dough on top of the stove (NOT IN THE OVEN).  It will rise best if the temperature of its location is 80 to 90 degrees. 

When the dough has doubled, after approximately an hour of rising, punch dough down.  That means ball up your fist and punch down into the middle of the dough.  My kids loved that part!  Form your loaf and put the dough into a heavily oiled bread pan.  Brush top of loaf with oil again.  Cover with the dish towel and put back into it's nice, warm spot. 

Let rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Put your newly risen loaf straight into preheated oven and bake until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when you thump it.  About 25 minutes or so, but this can greatly vary according the the size of your loaf, etc...

When the bread is done, take out and resist slicing until it has cooled a bit.  Enjoy!

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