Whole Wheat Grandma’s Bread Recipe With A Twist…Whey!
No eggs, no oil, no preservatives…this whole wheat bread recipe is easy to make, rustic and delicious. Its texture is light, but sturdy enough for sandwiches and wonderful for French toast. The loaves are large and lovely, with a sweet, nutty flavor.
Though the recipe does not call for whole milk, the secret ingredient is whey, a by-product that is often discarded from cheese-making. If you make ricotta, mozzarella or any other cheese that produces whey, save it for this recipe. If not, you can substitute water for the whey, or drain the liquid off the top of your yogurt or sour cream to use in place of the whey (if you don’t have quite as much liquid as the recipe calls for, it is okay to mix it with some water.)
Hearty, healthy, and so simple!
3 C warm water or liquid whey
1 package of active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar (I prefer Zulka unrefined sugar)
5 C all-purpose flour
2 C whole wheat flour
Extra flour, as necessary.
Proof and Activate Yeast
Warm up water or whey in the microwave or stove top until it is warm to the touch, but not hot. In a large bowl, combine warm liquid, yeast, sugar, and salt. Allow the mixture to sit five minutes. It should become bubbly and look “alive.”
Testing the efficacy of yeast is called “proofing.” If yeast is active, the liquid will move around and the yeast will grow and float to the top. If this does not occur, your yeast may not be active and your bread will not rise. Start over with fresh yeast.
Prepare the Dough
Mix the all purpose and whole wheat flours together. Stir first four cups of flour into the liquid ingredients. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Begin kneading by pressing the dough with the heal of your hand. Fold the dough, turn it slightly and press again, repeating the motion rhythmically. Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place it in a warm spot. Allow dough to rise until it doubles in size, for about 1 hour.
If it is cold in your kitchen, heat your oven to 180 degrees. Then turn off the oven and place the dough bowl inside, leaving the oven door slightly open.
Prepare Loaf Pans and Bake the Bread
Divide the dough in half. Shape dough into loaves of equal size and place into the greased loaf pans. Tear off pieces of waxed paper and grease them with oil spray to prevent them from sticking to the loaves as they rise. Cover loaf pans loosely with the paper. If your climate is dry, drape a slightly damp lightweight towel loosely over the top of the paper.
Let the dough rise for about an hour, until the loaves double in size.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake bread for 25 minutes.
Cool slightly and transfer from bread pans to a cooling rack.