Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to use your wheat to make the best bread ever!

I have really been enjoying all the how-tos on my friend "Stie's" blog and I've been trying to think of what I could possibly contribute in the midst of such talent and brilliance. And although I can take absolutely no credit for this - I can share the BEST WHEAT BREAD EVER!!!

For years I bought my wheat bread from a bakery. It soft and chewy and delicious and so when they went out of business I was devastated. I never thought I would find a good wheat bread again but I was wrong - I found one that is better and that I can make at home. And as a bonus - for those of you who store pounds and pounds of wheat - you can rotate through your food storage.

The bad news is that you need equipment, expensive equipment. My husband was not too happy when I one day announced I needed a Bosch and then added "oh and I need a wheat grinder to go with it." But even he will admit that they are well worth the hefty price tag. I'm sure that you can make this recipe without these machines but they do make it much, much easier. If your serious about bread than I would highly recommend them.

For Karen's Famous Wheat Bread you will need:

4 cups warm water

1 TBSP. Salt

1/3 Cup Oil

1 Cup Honey

1 1/2 TBSP. dough enhancer

2 TBSP. yeast

3/4 Cup gluten flour

9-14 cups of wheat flour

(Dough enhancer can be difficult to find. Some grocery stores carry it and most kitchen supply or emergency preparedness stores will have it. If not you can always purchase it online. Wheat gluten is easier to find and is usually located in the baking aisle.)

Put all the ingredients in the bowl except the flour and mix. Add four cups of flour and combine. Then add another 3-4. The next part is tricky because depending on what kind of wheat you are using, the climate and time of year will depend on how much flour you need. Once the dough is pulling away from the sides start adding flour a 1/4 cup at a time. If you have never made wheat bread before it might take some trial and error to get the right consistency.

Once the dough is not too sticky (but not too heavy) allow to knead in the mixer for 12 minutes.

While it is mixing I pull out my bread pans. The ones on the right are my good William Sonoma pans. The ones on the left not so good. One day my dream of having matching gold pans will come true - but not today. Spray with cooking spray.

After 12 minutes remove dough from mixer and shape roughly into a square. Cut into four even sections.

To shape I take one of the balls and pound it on the counter to make a smooth surface and then roll into a loaf.

Place in pan and let rise. The rise time can vary depending on the temperature of your house, etc. I let mine rise until they are above the loaf pan rim and nicely rounded.

Bake in the oven at 325 for 35 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Here I have a double batch to share with neighbors :) If you don't want to share (and who can blame you after all you bought the wheat, you ground the wheat, you made the bread....etc.) then this bread freezes beautifully.

I have been making this bread for many years now and I love it. I finally had the opportunity to meet the Karen of "Karen's Famous Wheat Bread". It was a little like meeting a celebrity. She is just as awesome as her bread. Seriously - I'm not kidding when I say this bread changed my life!

Happy Bread Making!!!!


  1. That bread looks soooo good. Am I counting right that it makes eight loaves? That is awesome. I have GOT to get my husband to buy me a Bosch.

  2. It only makes four - I doubled that batch. I'm telling you the Bosch is a beautiful thing!!!

  3. I guess I'm going shopping for some appliances!!! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try it.

  4. I love bread. I want to make this bread, with my own ground wheat. Where did your find your grinder? Thanks!

  5. Still totally awesome, even after reading the finished post. Please move by me, be my neighbor and bake me bread? Pretty please???

  6. I bought my Nutrimill online - I'm sorry I can't remember where. Just look around - I know some stores sometimes bundle the Bosch and grinder making it cheaper than buying individually. I've also heard of several people (church groups) buying them at the same time and getting a discount. Good luck to you!
    Christie there are still several lots available in my neighborhood - don't you want to come back to the Pacific Northwest - you are missing some lovely Spring weather :)

  7. I didn't know you did a tutorial on your blog about how to make the bread!!! Awesomeness! :) I've tasted this bread, so I know it's yummy!