We’re big fans of carbs around here. Since we can eat through a loaf of bread so quickly in our house I do my best to make it as healthy as possible. We’re used to the taste and texture of 100% whole grain bread so that’s what we eat for our everyday bread. I’ve had some pretty dense and strong-tasting wheat bread before, but this bread is one that we all love.
This recipe is close to the halfway healthy sandwich bread and, like that recipe, the secret to a light and fluffy wheat bread is the inclusion of eggs. Did you know that eggs are naturally high in lecithin? Lecithin is a component in dough conditioners that helps bread hold together and give a higher rise, as well as helping the bread to stay fresh longer. Tammy over at Tammy's Recipes has a great post on dough conditioners. I haven’t felt the need to experiment with the other ingredients in her dough conditioner recipe since just adding a few eggs –with their helpful lecithin- has worked out so well!
I use molasses as the sweetener in this bread, but if you’re not a fan of the molasses flavor (or if you have picky family members!) honey is a fine substitute. The molasses makes the bread a dark color, but it’s still light and delicious.
I use my bread machine to mix the dough, but you can make this by hand using the instructions for my halfway healthy sandwich bread.
I like to rub a stick of butter over the tops of the loaves when they first come out of the oven. This helps the crust stay soft and moist for longer, plus butter makes everything better.
Everyday Wheat Bread
1 1/4 C. water 2 eggs 1/4 C. olive oil 1/4 C. molasses 6 C. whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons yeast
1. Place all the wet ingredients into the bread machine pan, then sprinkle flour over top. Add the salt in one corner and put the yeast in the middle.
2. Set the bread machine to run the dough cycle (I usually pray at this point that the obnoxious end-of-cycle beeping won’t wake my sleeping six month old up from his nap).
3. When the cycle has finished, and you’ve yanked the cord out of the wall to stop the beeping so the baby will hopefully keep sleeping, divide in two and shape into loaves. Place in two greased bread pans, cover and let rise until doubled.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes until golden on top. Turn out to cool on a wire rack, and rub the tops with butter if desired.
Notes: I usually slice both loaves once they’re cool, place each in a plastic bag and pop one in the freezer. This has stayed good in the cabinet for up to five days, but as you can see from the picture below, it doesn’t usually last long!
Yield: Two loaves