I started making my own bread shortly after getting married almost 15 years ago. I started with store bought white flour and a bread machine. It was amazing! Later, I moved to store bought whole wheat flour. This was less than awesome. It just didn’t rise nice like it was supposed to. Even with wheat gluten added in, it was still basically a failure, so I stopped baking bread and just started buying 100% Whole Wheat bread from the store.
Then, my mom got a Champion Juicer with a grinder attachment. This changed everything. We bought a used Champion Juicer and a grinder attachment as soon as we found a good deal (because those things are expensive!). Following my mom’s example, we bought a 25 pound bag of wheat berries and ground our own flour. Now, THAT was 100% whole wheat flour!
My sister uses her Kitchenaid mixer with a grain mill attachment, and you can read about her experience here.
I started baking my own bread again, and it rises! I don’t use wheat gluten to help it either. It doesn’t rise as high as white flour, but I am okay with that. I no longer use a bread machine because it doesn’t mix the flour very well. I just use my trusty Kitchenaid mixer.
This recipe makes one 2 pound loaf which will be about 16 slices.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Add water, flour, salt and yeast to mixing bowl. Set a timer, and let it slowly mix for 25 minutes. Put dough in a greased bowl (or grease the mixer bowl), cover and let rise for 40 minutes. I wrap my bowl in a large bath towel for the rising segments. Punch dough down for 10 seconds. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and shape into loaves. You can either flatten it out and roll it into a loaf or just form it into a loaf like you would form Play-Doh. Place shaped dough into a greased and floured bread pan. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes. Bake on a rack in the center of the oven at 425°F for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wired rack.
I usually make a double batch just so I don’t have to do it as often. We don’t eat a lot of bread, so I always put one loaf in the freezer and one in the refrigerator. Fresh, homemade bread will get moldy a lot faster than store bought bread, so if you are not going to finish the loaf within a week, you probably want to refrigerate it to keep it fresh.