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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Satiny Whole Wheat Bread

This is my very favorite 100% whole wheat recipe, from my dear friend Juli, and I'm pretty sure she came up with this recipe on her own.  It makes three large loaves, but I usually make two large loaves and four mini loaves with it.
Mollie always asks, "Can I paint it when it comes out?"
Each loaf gets a thin coating of butter brushed on the top
If you are interested in health news and research, you can't avoid the current hype about sugar versus high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the links between fructose intake and obesity, and the difference between how your body breaks down down fructose, sucrose, and glucose.  I'm certainly not an expert, and I am inclined to think that much of the hype is just that . . . hype.  Health trends seem to come in waves and often the science changes.  

Buuu-uuuut . . . there's a really easy, effective, and yummy way to lower the glycemic load (how quickly your food breaks down into sugar in the body) of your breads: add a handful of whole grains.  

It's pretty easy to understand how this works: a grain that's already "broken down" (like flour) takes your body less time to break down on it's own, so it converts to energy (sugar in the bloodstream) more quickly.  But if you want foods that take longer to break down (releasing a steady trickle of energy instead of a spike), you want to eat them in as close to their original form as you can.  

That's why an apple is better for you than applesauce is better for you than apple juice.

"But, Becca," you say, "People are not horses!  I don't want to munch on a nosebag of oats."  Me neither, peeps.  Ew.  Remember how I said this is yummy?  Yummy is the kind of healthy I like.  That's why, even though this is a very healthy recipe, there is a bit of butter painted on the top of each loaf.  It keeps the top from getting hard, but it's also the best flavor there is.
Add one scant cup five-grain cereal (or rolled oats)
when you add the flour and salt after the first rise.
The bread already has a perfect crumb and delicious texture, and a few chewy bites of whole grains puts it over the top.  My seven-year-old son is a pretty picky eater, but it's in his favor in the case of breads, because he likes only this bread.  

I make a batch every week, and we all love it much more than the sawdusty store-bought bread (okay, with the exception of Granny Sycamore's white loaf--I am sure it has a sky-high glycemic load, but it makes the best French Toast you've ever had).

After the second rise
After Mollie "painted" the top
Comes out perfect every time--my husband loves
this bread to make himself a thick PB&J sandwich
"Mom, are you shamelessly exploiting my cuteness
and blue-eyed-ness for you recipe blog again?"
You might have to go to a specialty store to buy lecithin (breaks up fat & cholesterol, byproduct of soybeans) and dough enhancer (usually made of whey, citric acids, and vitamin C--adds flavor) and wheat gluten (protein derived from wheat) . . . but it is worth it.  I get mine pretty cheap at Walton Feed.


  1. I only have access to imported honey....can I still make this bread? It looks delicious. Also, if I can't make the bread, can I steal Mollie?

  2. I've actually been out of dough enhancer for a while, and it still turns out great! I'm glad you guys like it so much.


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