Monday, September 22, 2014

Wheat Bread – Finally a Success!

There’s nothing like fresh baked bread, and since we’ve left the land of delicious, freshly baked bread available at every store or bakery for just pennies (A.K.A Morocco), I’ve been playing around with my bread recipe.  The arrival of my KitchenAid Mixer helped to speed this process along, as I don’t have to take days off of kneading to let my tendinitis heal.

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Last week, while doing a search on different bread recipes, I read that 2 tablespoons of wheat gluten will help the bread to be less dense – which has always been a problem with my bread.  So, off I went to the grocery store to buy a bag of wheat gluten.  $8 for a bag – wowzers, but with only 2 tablespoons needed, I shouldn’t have to buy it that often.  Even if I do, it truly makes all of the difference.


This week, our bread turned out so good, that we ended up going through an entire batch in one day and I had to bake more the next day!  Luckily, it’s a nice easy recipe:


Put 2 cups of luke warm water into the KitchenAid Mixer bowl (or a regular old mixing bowl) with 2 tablespoons of sugar (or 1/4 cup of honey) and 2 tablespoons of dried yeast.  Let this set for about 15 minutes, to “proof” the yeast.


Next, add 4 cups of white flour and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Knead with the dough hook (or a good old wooden spoon), and let sit for 30 – 45 minutes.  The mixture will rise quite a bit as the yeast activates.

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Now we add the wheat gluten – two heaping tablespoons, as well as 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  I also had about 1/4 of a cup of milk, as yeast LOVES milk and this increases the fluffiness of your bread too.  Knead with the bread hook attachment (or by hand if you don’t suffer from tendinitis) until the dough comes together and there is no flour left in the bowl.


Time to let the bread rise!  If you’re using the Kitchen Aid, you need to take the dough OUT of the mixer bowl.  You can oil the mixer bowl and put it back in there to rise if you’d like, but be sure to add a tablespoon of oil, or the dough will stick to the side and you will lose your air pouch when you remove the bread – making for a much harder, denser bread.  I prefer to use my large, stainless steel Pampered Chef mixing bowls, because the size is just perfect for rising dough.  Cover the bowl with a towel to keep the flies away and place in the sunshine if you can – this will cut down on rising time.  If there’s no sunshine, just pick a dry, warm spot and the bread will rise in no time. 

Warning – don’t let your dough rise on the stove if you’re cooking on the stove.  I had a whole bowl of dough “bake” in the bowl on my because my lovely Stainless Steel Bowl got too warm!

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Once the bread dough has at least doubled in size (generally 1 – 2 hours), punch the bread down with your hands and form it into the types of loaves you want.  I generally make one “sandwich loaf” in my Pampered Chef Stoneware Bread Pan and then make the rest into round, Moroccan style loaves.  I can get 2 – 3 small rounds or 1 large round out of the remaining bread.  (In the picture below, I didn’t make a sandwich loaf.) Once the loaves are made, leave them to rise again.  I leave mine to rise right on the pans I cook them on.  I even put them in the oven while they rise, which saves me from having to jostle them too much or even cover them with a towel!  Of course, if it’s a warm, sunny day, the bread will rise faster in the sun.

If you are needing to move your loaves before you bake them – be sure to put them on a cotton sheet where you won’t break an air pocket if you move them.  (My Moroccan mother – in – law taught me this trick and it makes all the difference!)

  Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe


After the bread has risen four about 45 minutes, it should be the right size to bake.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf, or until the loaf is golden brown.  If you want a more golden crust – coat the crust with an egg white or a few tablespoons of melted butter right before you bake.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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