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Friday, March 16, 2012

Mama's Homemade Wheat Bread and Scones

One of my favorite things to make is breads. I started making bread when I was in my early teens {probably 13 or 14}. And I made it by hand - no fancy machines to help with the kneading. I have to thank my mom for giving me such free reign in the kitchen.  Whenever I wanted to make something, I don't remember really asking, I would just do it. I think the best way to learn things is to JUST DO IT.  I picked up a lot of things by watching my mom, and then I would just try it myself.

Today I'm going to share my mom's homemade wheat bread recipe. This is the the best wheat bread I've had. Sometimes wheat bread tends to be dry, but this is moist and delicious. I made this using flour ground in my wheat grinder that my parents gave me for Christmas {Thanks again}


First we'll get our yeast going. Take 1/2 c. warm water (think baby bottle warm) and mix it with 
1 1/2 - 2 T. yeast and 1 t. sugar.


Stir it together.


Then let it sit about 5 minutes or until it looks like this.


Next mix together 2 c. warm water, 3/4 T. salt, 1/4 c. honey 1/4 c. oil, 2 c. whole wheat flour. Then add 1 more cup flour and yeast mixture and mix together. I always use my kitchenaid for breads now.


The next step is important - just let it sit there for 10 minutes.  This will allow the gluten to start working. I'm not sure about all the technical details, I just know it makes better bread if you do this. 

It will raise a little during this time.


Add up to 3 c. flour one cup at a time {You may only need 2 cups but do NOT add more than 3 cups. Too much flour leads to dry bread} Knead 10 minutes.


Let raise 30-40 minutes. It will start out looking like this...


and end up looking like this.


Punch down the dough.


Shape into loaves. I know lots of people roll out their dough and then roll it up to shape their loaves. I take the easy way and just shape it using my hands.  I don't really know how to explain it - I just learned from watching my mom. 

Another tip to keep the bread moist and not dry, is to spray the counter with cooking spray instead of using flour to keep it from sticking.


Let raise.


Bake at 375 for 35 minutes {I think my oven cooks hotter than my mom's, so I'm going to try 30 minutes next time}


Remove from pans immediately and let cool.

This recipe makes 2 1/2 medium sized loaves.  Something fun to do when making bread is to use some of the dough to make scones.  This recipe works perfect, you can make two loaves and have some dough left for scones. {Of course, if you're kids love them as much as mine, you'll only have enough dough left for one loaf}

To make the scones:
After the dough has risen, pinch off pieces of the dough and flatten. Place them in hot oil. {You can make a mini scone to test your oil temperature.}


When one side browns, flip with tongs. Place cooked scones on a paper towel covered plate. Let cool so you don't burn your fingers or tongue. 

We always dip them in jam or honey butter. Or sometimes a little of both.


Here's the recipe:

Mama's Best Bread

1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 - 2 T. yeast
1 t. sugar

Mix and let rise.

2 c. warm water
3/4 T. salt
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. oil
5-6 c. whole wheat flour

Mix water, salt, honey, oil and 2 c. of the flour. Then add yeast mixture and one more cup flour.
LET STAND 10 MINUTES.
Add up to 3 c. flour one cup at a time {You may only need 2 c.} Knead 10 minutes.
Let raise 30-40 minutes.
Shape into loaves and let raise.
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
Immediately remove from pans to let cool.

 Additions: add after 10 minutes resting just before final flour addition.

Seeds {use any or all of the following}:
1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1 T. whole flaxseed
4 T. sunflower seeds
2 T. poppyseeds

OR

Grains:
3/4 c. 10 grain cereal {or 6,7 9 grain cereal}


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