Let’s just get it over with: I think that the American bread is awful (at least the bread here in Phoenix). I tried a lot of different brands and sorts. From grocery store bread till bread from bakeries… they all were way too sweat. And yeah, I did found bread without sugar, but that was so dry that it was even less eatable. That is why I started to make my own bread. I do it almost every day and everyone in my family loves it. The first weeks were …. challenging. I messed up so many breads that I was about to stop trying. But then I’d read some books about baking bread. It still took me some time to get the right recipe. But I have a couple of good ones and some of my friends here got inspired and are using them as well. They asked for a whole wheat recipe so I tried a couple of things and here it is: a delicious recipe for a whole wheat bread filled with healthy seeds.
2,5 teaspoons active dry yeast / 7 grams
0,5 teaspoon sugar
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill) / 500 grams
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water / 525 mililiters
1 cup seeds (for example pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds)
1 cup vital wheat gluten / 150 grams
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2,5 teaspoons salt (I use iodized salt to prevent an iodine deficiency)
How to make it
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup (60 millilitres) lukewarm water (not hot, this might kill the yeast). Don’t stir, just put it together. Let it rest until the yeast is foamy (approximately 5 minutes).
In the meanwhile roast most of the seeds by baking them (without any butter or oil) till they are getting a slightly brown colour. Keep a small handful of seeds unroasted for the top of the bread. Chop the roasted ones with a knife or a chopper.
Add the flour, chopped seeds, gluten, oil, salt and the rest of the lukewarm water to the yeast mixture.
Knead the mixture for at least 10 minutes into a smooth, elastic and slightly sticky ball (the easiest way to do this is to use a stand mixer with a dough hook). If your dough is too sticky, add some more flour. Is your dough to dry, add some more water. The dough is ready when it slowly bounces back when you push it softly with your finger (like it is in this video).
Keep the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 45 minutes (or until doubled).
Unfold a clean kitchen towel and flour it by rubbing the flour into the kitchen towel. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the towel.
Throw your unused seeds on the floured kitchen towel.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and fold it into a more solid ball by using the folding technique in this video.
Place the dough in the middle of the floured kitchen towel with it’s seam side up and fold it up. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 F (220 C).
Take the dough very carefully out of the kitchen towel, turn it around so that your seam side is down and place it into a dutch oven (gietijzeren pan). Close it with it’s lid (check if the handle(s) of your dutch oven are heat proof. If they are made of plastic, screw them off).
Put the dutch oven into your preheated oven and let it bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid after 30 minutes.
Take the bread out of your dutch oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Let it cool completely.
Et voila! Enjoy your very own home made bread 🙂