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The BEST Whole Wheat Bread Ever!

Hi friends!  I feel like I need to apologize, because I've had this recipe since January and it's April and I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you.   

I've bought bread from the store once (that's right...once!) since January.  When I pulled the store bought bread out of the freezer, I remembered why I make bread in the first place.  It's SO much better than store bought (or at least the bread I can buy at my local Smith's)!  
Here are the many reasons why I love this recipe...

1.  It's 100% WHOLE WHEAT, but still super LIGHT and FLUFFY.  My family haven't been big fans of wheat bread in the past since it's usually dense, but they haven't complained about this bread at all.

2.  It's FAST and EASY!  From start to finish this recipe takes less than two hours to make, about an hour and 45 minutes.  There aren't too many steps either.  You're not spending the whole two hours in the kitchen watching over the bread.

3.  It FREEZES WONDERFULLY!  I usually make two loaves of bread.  I slice them both up and we eat one loaf right away.  I stick the other one on the freezer.  When I pull it out of the freezer for lunches, etc. I stick it in the microwave to thaw it for a few seconds and it's as light and fluffy as it was when it first came out of the oven.  In fact, I've served this bread from the freezer with soup for dinner and my husband thought I had made it that day.  

This recipe does need two ingredients that you might not have on hand, but it's totally worth it to spend the money on it.  You can buy both of them on Amazon or in a big case at Sam's Club online.  Or if you're lucky your grocery store will carry it.
  • Dough Enhancer - (also called Dough Conditioner) is a natural way to keep your bread fresh longer and improves the taste, texture and crust of your bread.  I bought mine on Amazon here, but you can buy it at Sam's Club too.  You only need about one tablespoon for two loaves of bread, so it will last you a long time.
  • Vital Wheat Gluten -- is the natural protein found in wheat. It contains 75% protein. A small amount added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough.  I have bought mine at Smith's and also at Sam's Club.  You can also buy it on Amazon.
The other ingredients are pretty common.
  • Instant Yeast -- I buy mine at Sam's Club
  • Honey - I buy mine at Sam's Club.  You can also substitute agave or sugar.
  • Vegetable Oil - Yep, I buy it at Sam's Club.
  • Whole Wheat Flour -- I use White Wheat Flour.  It makes the bread lighter in color, so my kids don't think of it as "brown bread".  I use a combination of store bought flour and flour that I've ground at home.  (I only buy flour because I don't have a wheat grinder...yet, so I don't have a lot of freshly ground flour to use).
  • Salt

Have I convinced you to try it yet?  If you're my local friend and want to try it, let me know and I'll give you a little bag of dough enhancer to use.

This is half of the original recipe.  It fits in my kitchenaid pretty well and makes 2 big loaves.  If you have a Bosch, double the recipe and make 5 loaves.   

I took step by step pictures to add to this post, but I guess they were on the camera card that my baby lost.  I'll take some soon and add them.

This recipe is for two loaves, but we've made up to five loaves at a time in my Bosch.  Click here to see a spreadsheet with the recipe amounts to make a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 loaf batch.  (Super handy!  I use this all the time.)

I wish I knew where the original recipe came from.  I got it from my friend, Angela, who got it from Brittany, who got it from someone else, etc.  Here's the recipe...

Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread

Printable Recipe

Yield: 2 large loaves
  • 3.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
  • 1.25 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1/3 c. honey (or 1/2 c. sugar or 1/4 c. agave)
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dough enhancer
  • 2.5 c. whole wheat flour 

1. Warm 20 ounces (2 ½ c.) water in microwave for 2 minutes.

2. In mixing bowl add:
  • 3 ½ c. whole wheat flour 
  • ⅓ c. vital wheat gluten 
  • 1.25 Tbsp instant yeast (1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) 
3. Mix until barely combined.. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

4. Add to dough mixture:
  • ⅓ c. canola or vegetable oil 
  • ⅓ c. honey 
  • 1 Tbsp. salt 
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. dough enhancer 
5. Mix a little and then add:
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (add ½ cup at a time) 
(If the dough isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl and is very sticky to touch, then add more flour a little at a time, about ½ cup more.)

6. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes.

7. Prepare dough for pans. (Lightly oil countertop. Split dough into two pieces. Roll out and shape into loaves. Spray bread pans. Put bread in pans.)

8. Let rise for 30 minutes or until dough reaches top of the pan.

9. Bake at 350 for 28 minutes. (If making half size loaves, bake for 25 minutes.)

10. Remove from pans on wire rack. Let cool before slicing. Best when eaten within two days of making it. It freezes and thaws wonderfully.

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