As I talked about in great detail in my post about why I love my bread machine, over the last few months I have learned that it is entirely possible to feed my family homemade bread without tons of effort – all I needed was a little help from a cumbersome but very useful appliance! I am committed to having our daily bread be 100% whole grain, and so far I’ve found 2 recipes that are really nice. This one is a pretty basic whole wheat – definitely a more dense choice, but really nicely textured and is even good toasted after several days sitting around. This has full approval from the munchkin, and all of the grown-ups in my life seem to love it! Although recently I have actually been lightening the loaf a bit by replacing 1 cup of the whole wheat flour with white whole wheat flour, and have been very happy with the results.
Most bread machines have a specific order that you need to add the ingredients – mine calls for liquids, then dry ingredients, and yeast last, so that’s how I’ve listed the ingredients here. But please make sure you read the instructions for your specific machine!
Basic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
adapted from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup agave or honey
2 tablespoons oil
4 cups whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat plus 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten*
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon SAF instant or rapid rise yeast** (or 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast)
Add all ingredients to bread machine as directed for your model. Set for whole wheat cycle (on my machine with SAF yeast I use quick wheat). When bread is done, remove from pan immediately and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing (if you can wait that long!).
* I’m not sure if this is available at regular grocery stores, but you can definitely find it at Whole Foods or other health food stores.
** I have only used SAF instant yeast for bread making, which allows me to use the “quick” cycle on my machine. This cuts the process down from close to 4 hours to a little more than 2, which is great! But bread machine yeast will also work if that’s what you have or prefer.