When we were visiting Bryan's family last week his mom kept feeding us lots of yummy whole-food goodies. Every morning I was spoiled with a fresh-made smoothie with lots of yummy fruit and spinach and a slice or two of homemade whole wheat bread. Mmmm. So good.
She sent us home with a fresh loaf and a bag of some freshly ground whole wheat flour. We're already a little more than halfway through the loaf she sent home and I definitely wanted more when we ran out, so I decided to test out a recipe and easy method right away so we'd be all set when do finish off the loaf from Bryan's mom.
A few weeks ago one of my good friends decided to start making her own bread, more on the basis that it's so much cheaper than store-bought bread. She makes super yummy pumpkin rolls almost every week for our dinner group, so I'm pretty trusting of any bread that comes out of their house. :) Her secret to success for consistently making homemade bread all the time is: a bread machine. She dumps all the ingredients in, lets the bread machine do the hard work, and then puts the dough in bread pans in the oven to bake. (Otherwise you end up with a weird-shaped loaf with a hole down the middle.)
Well, my envy for the simplicity of my friend's homemade bread combined with my longing for my mother-in-law's homemade bread resulted in a trip to the thrift store yesterday in search of a bread machine. I am happy to say that I found one! For a whopping $8.99 I now have my own bread making robot. So awesome.
Yesterday I put my new bread machine to work. I got a good recipe from my friend (she got it from her Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but mine didn't have bread machine recipes in it--boo) and made some alterations to make the bread even healthier.
Read more for the (super easy) recipe!
Easy Whole Wheat Bread
adapted from the recipe for a 1 1/2 pound loaf by Better Homes and Gardens
- 1 cup soy milk
- 3 TBS water
- 4 TBS honey
- 1 TBS applesauce
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 serving of prepared quick oats (made according to directions on carton)
Put everything in the bread machine* and push the "dough" button. When it's done mixing, pull out the dough and put it in a greased bread pan**. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Right after it comes out of the oven, run a butter knife along the edge of the bread to loosen it from the pan. Place the bread on a cooling rack to cool.
*My friend (who gave me the recipe and who very nicely explained to me how to use my machine since it didn't come with a manual--thanks Lacey!) told me to add the liquid ingredients first and then mix everything around with a spoon a little (especially the corners) so it would mix properly. I did just that and it worked really well.
**We consulted Bryan's mom a few times during the bread making last night. As for rising, she said we could either let it rise in the bread machine and then put it in the pan and let it rise again, or we could just take it out of the bread machine once it was done mixing and let it just rise once in the bread pan. I opted for quick and easy and just let it rise once in the bread pan.
This bread turned out super yummy and perfectly moist. Bryan and I agree that it's the oatmeal that keeps it so moist. I definitely stole this idea from Bryan's mom who started adding the kids' left over oatmeal to her bread years ago. Now she swears by it. And so do I. Because I've made whole wheat bread before that was okay, but not great.