The first (and only) bread recipe I ever tried was one I found on minimalistbaker.com
Here is the link to the recipe:
Easy Whole Grain Seeded Bread
I had a few issues the first few times I made it. If you look through the comments you’ll find that several people had the problem where the outside of their bread would be cooked well but the middle would still be doughy. I had this problem the first three times I tried making this recipe. But I kept tweaking things here and there and I think I finally have it figured out! I made it today so I’ll walk you through the steps I took.
Obligatory ingredients photo. I did not use agave nectar today. I just put it there for the photo.
Step one: 1.5 cups water and 2 and 1/4 tsp yeast. I let it sit for 5 whole minutes to dissolve, and I also use water heated to between 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit. I have a kitchen thermometer to measure this.
After 5 minutes I add the salt and flax seed.
I weigh the whole wheat flour (which I add first). 130 grams per cup. So, I end up using 260 grams of whole wheat flour. I use a fork to stir it a bit before I begin adding all purpose flour. Now, the recipe says to add 1 and 3/4 cup flour, and then later it says something about using 3 and 3/4 ups total, the rest of the flour which you slowly add while mixing. What I do is I add one half cup at a time (120 grams per 1 cup of flour, so 60 grams at a time) and mix until I’ve added 1 and 3/4 cup. At this point I need to use my hands to mix. I do not have a mixer machine so I use my hands. The dough is still sticky so I slowly add flour 60 grams at a time until the dough stops being sticky and is more elastic like. This time around in addition to the 1 and 3/4 cup that the recipe calls for, I think I added an additional 1.5 – 1.75 cups (or around 270 grams). You kind of have to play this part by ear.
The first time I made this bread I added exactly 3 and 3/4 cups of all purpose flour and it was way too much. The dough was REALLY dry.
Since I don’t have a machine, I knead my dough by hand for about 5-7 minutes. Then I shape it into a ball.
I grease another mixing bowl with some olive oil (an oil spray would work really well here), place my dough ball in it, and cover with plastic wrap.
Then it sits for two hours.
That’s what it looks like after 2 hours. I then place it in the fridge for another two hours!
Yes, that is the inside of my fridge currently.
After another 2 hours…
I punch a hole in the middle of it and add 2 tablespoons of oats. (I do not add sunfower seeds like the recipe calls for).
I then take it out of the bowl and knead it for 12-15 turns.
The dough at this point is kind of hard to work with so I don’t knead too much. I then make a loaf-like shape and place it in a greased 9×5 inch bread pan.
Sift some flour on top of it, cover with plastic wrap and I let it sit for 45 minutes. Twenty minutes before that 45 minutes is up I preheat my oven to 425 degrees. That is another place where I deviate from the recipe. Actually, the author suggests to bake at 425 if you were having issues with the bread not cooking in the middle.
A few slashes on the top and then I pop it in the oven following the recipe instructions with the tray of water on the bottom rack.
Bake for 35-36 minutes. To check if it’s done, take it out, remove from bread pan, and tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. Make sure you check on your bread! Just turn the oven light on and take a look and see if the outside is getting cooked too much or not. Your oven may be hotter than mine.
Fresh out of the oven. I let it sit in the pan for five minutes. Then I’m supposed to take it out and let it cool for longer but my husband and I usually end up eating it right away.
And that’s it! We top ours with Earth Balance’s “buttery” spread.
I actually made the mistake of turning the oven off after I put the bread in (I thought I was turning the timer off) and so it just sat there in an oven that was slowly losing heat for 35 minutes. I had to re-preheat the oven. I left the bread in there while it did and left it in for around 25-30 minutes. I’m not sure because instead of timing it, I just checked on it often.
Making your own bread is so rewarding! It comes out so much better than store bought bread and it’s so satisfying knowing you made it with your own two hands. The only downside is having to let the dough sit for nearly 5 hours for this recipe!
Still, very easy and delicious.
Products I used/recommend: