Lion House Whole Wheat Bread

You can’t go wrong with anything from the Lion House Classics cookbook.  This bread is light, airy and delicious!  I put the recipe in exactly as written from the cookbook, but I add gluten and dough enhancer when I make it.

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Lion House Whole Wheat Bread

1 Tbsp. dry yeast

3 cups warm water (apx. 101 degrees)

1 cup cooked oatmeal

1/4 cup molasses

6 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk

6 Tbsp. shortening, softened

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour***

1 1/2 Tbsp. salt

2 cups white flour

Proof yeast in 3 cups lukewarm water in large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and beat until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl.  (I used cinnamon roll flavored instant oatmeal and it was yummy – I could taste a hint of cinnamon in the cooked bread.)  After kneading the dough using an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes remove the dough and knead it by hand for another 5ish minutes.  If you cut off a small piece of the dough and carefully stretch the dough, it should not tear.  If tearing occurs then continue kneading for another 3-5 minutes.  Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover with terry cloth and let rise until double (about one hour).  Be sure it rises in a warm area away from breezes.  I think the best place to let dough rise is in an oven turned off, and the oven light on.  Once the rising process is done, cut the dough in half and roll it into two greased loaf pans.  Let rise until about double and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a nice golden brown.

***I grind my own wheat, these measurements were given from bagged flour.  Fresh ground flour is much lighter and airier, so if you’re using fresh flour you’ll use quite a bit more then what’s asked for.  I usually wait a week before I use my flour so that it will settle.

7-Grain Bread

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A while ago we decided to switch to whole wheat.  I grind my own wheat once a month and very rarely purchase white flour.  I do love wheat breads, but I seem to miss the squishy-ness of white bread. I know there are a million bread recipes out there, and this is now in my top five.  It’s healthy, squishy, hearty, and freezes well.  One of my favorite recipe blogs is OurBestBites.com  because almost everything they make appeals to my tastes.  For the most part their recipes are simple and family friendly.  I was so happy to find this recipe and I’m copying it here directly from their site so I can save it in my ‘files’.  Make it, love it, double the recipe to save some for later, and enjoy!

Multi-Grain Bread

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour (not bread flour)
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon salt
Optional (I omitted): 3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.

Instructions
Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.

Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined.  Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (*note: some at high altitudes have noted they have not needed all of the flour, go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1 1/2-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does.  Don’t add more!) continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.  Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you.  Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.  Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable il spray.  Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners.  Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes.  Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.

Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake until loaves register 200 degrees, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

For those without a stand mixer, Cook’s Illustrated recommends:  “Stir wet and dry ingredients together with a stiff rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, roughd ball, 15-25 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.  Proceed with recipe as directed.”

Sweet and Squishy White/Wheat Bread

One of my favorite memories growing up was bread days.  I loved getting home from school and walking into the house filled with the smell of warm bread.  I strangely loved going into the kitchen and seeing the sink full and my Mom covered in flour.  I loved that the moment we would walk in the door she would yell, “Don’t run! Bread is rising, walk softly.”  The bread always tasted the best on the first day, when it came out of the oven and I could put butter on it and it would melt before I could spread it all the way.  Mmmmmm. . . and then the fresh jam.  Life is just so much better with hot bread and homemade jam.   Thanks Mom for all your hard work in the kitchen.  Thanks also go to my sisters who have kept the cooking/baking tradition alive.  I love that if I can’t get a hold of Mom I can run through all my sisters to ask questions or get advice on recipes and cooking in general.
I have a few bread recipes that I could share, but this is the recipe that I made today and it turned out so perfectly that I just had to share.

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Sweet and Squishy White/Wheat Bread

3 cups warm water (about as hot as you would give your kids in hot cocoa)
2 packages active dry yeast (1Tbsp + 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
5 Tbsp. vital gluten
approx. 3/4 Tbsp. dough enhancer

3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. vital gluten
butter or margarine
(opt. sunflower seeds or other added goodness)

In a large bowl (or Kitchenaid) mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey.  Add 5 cups flour, 5 Tbsp. gluten, and dough enhancer, and stir to combine.  Cover bowl with a towel and let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in remaining butter, honey, and salt.  Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour.  If in Kitchenaid then gradually add the remaining flour about a 1/2 cup at a time while continually stirring it with the kneading arm.  Let it continue stirring until the dough is completely off the sides and the consistency is slightly sticky to the touch.  If by hand then flour a surface and begin to knead the bread adding the remaining flour little by little until the dough no longer sticks to the counter but is slightly sticky to the touch.  Place in a greased bowl.  Cover with a terry cloth.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled.  (TIP:  Put your oven rack a little lower and then place the bowl in there to rise with the oven light on to keep it the perfect warmness.  DO NOT turn the oven on!  Putting it in the oven will prevent breezes or heavy traffic from ruining the rising process)

Once doubled in size (about an hour later) punch the dough down and divide into 3 loaves.  Place in greased 9×5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by about one inch (again let it rise in the turned off oven with the light on).  Rising time will be about 30-45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes; do not over bake.  Lightly brush the tops of loaves with butter or margarine when done.  Let the loaves sit in the pans for a few minutes and then turn them upside down over a towel and they should just pop right out to continue cooling.