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The wheat, the whole wheat and nothing but the wheat homemade bread.

There are as many ways to make good bread as there are to skin a cat, but my idea of whole wheat is the wheat, all the wheat and nothing but the wheat, the yeast, sugar and water! You don't need anything else to make good whole wheat bread and my recipe could hardly be simpler. If you don't count the time you're waiting for it to rise and bake, it should only take ten minutes of your time!

The secret to good whole wheat bread is gluten - period. That's the gooey stuff in wheat that traps the bubbles made by the yeast and makes it rise. Even so-called high gluten wheat recommended in The 6 Secrets of High-Rising Whole Wheat Bread doesn't have enough gluten to make whole wheat bread rise as high as some of us would like it to. Mind you, heavy bread is good bread, too, but if you want it to rise higher - add some extra gluten. You should be able to find gluten flour at most any health food store or co-op. You can buy 100% gluten flour but what I get locally has a gluten content of 40% and it only takes 1/4 cup per loaf to get it to rise the way I like it. One-half cup in a loaf will make it so fluffy you'll have trouble cutting the crust!

Here is my recipe for one loaf. If you want to make more, simply double or triple the quantities. 1 cup water ltablespoon Red Star Quick Rising Dry Yeast (or one package if you don't buy it in bulk) 1 tablespoon sugar Heat the water to 120 degrees and then stir in the yeast. Let sit while you blend: 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour 1/4 cup 40% gluten flour, or a little more if that suits you

Pure gluten flour in water results in an incredible glob of glue and what you want is to spread this glue throughout your bread, so blend it with the flour or you'll get something more like Swiss cheese!

Then mix the blended flour with the yeast water with a wooden spoon and set in a warm place to double, or better, triple in bulk.

When the sponge has risen, spread: 1 cup Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour on a suitable kneading surface and pour the sponge on top of it. Grease your hands and knead the sponge until all the flour is worked into it. Add a little more flour and keep kneading until you get a stiff dough. Grease the whole ball of dough and press it into a bread pan. Let it rise and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 [degrees] for 45 minutes. Around here it doesn't get a chance to get cold, let alone stale. You can add salt if you want but I don't think it is necessary.

I've found that not all flours are the same so to take all the guesswork out of making pure whole wheat bread, I have specified the very brands that I use. I see no advantage in slow-rising yeast and Red Star seems to be quicker than Fleischman's.

In summer I let my bread and sponge rise in the sun. In winter I keep a 10-quart pot of water on the wood stove all the time to keep the humidity from getting too low in my cabin. I set a rack on top of this pot and put the bread on the rack with another pan upside down over it to keep the heat radiating from the stove pipe from making it rise faster on one side than the other.

Anyone can make good pure whole wheat bread. All you need is gluten flour. A little is all you need!

P.S. I remember reading once how to extract the gluten from any whole wheat flour. I can't remember where, but as I recall it involved putting the flour in a close-woven bag and repeatedly washing and wringing the bag. The gluten stays in the bag while most of the starch (and vitamins) are washed out. But, I'm basically lazy, so I go to the store!

Homemade

yeast

3 handsful peeach leaves 3 medium potatoes

Boil in 3 quarts water until potatoes are done. Remove and discard the peach leaves. (Retain the boiling water.)

Peeland slice the potatoes. Blend them like pie dough with one pint of flour (3 cups), adding enough cold water to make a paste.

Then pour o the hot peach leaf tea and scald the floured potatoes for about five minutes.

Let this stand for 24 hours in a warm place, covered with a cloth, and it's ready to use. - Mrs. Dorothy Adams, Hannibal, Missouri

We have been several similar recipes in old cookbooks, but we're never tried it. His anyone else? Can any chemists explain what the peach leaves do, or what people who live too far north to have peaches might substitute?
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipe
Author:Stockwell, Steve
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Words:831
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