Fern's Whole Wheat Bread
One of the wonderful things about this blog is that I am getting e-mails from family and friends who want to share their recipes. Recipes that they are clearly proud of. This recipe for whole wheat bread was sent to me by my sister-in-law Fern, who lives in Bet Shemesh, Israel. Recently retired from her professional career as an attorney, Fern is traveling, swimming and baking. My husband, the other baker among the siblings, tried this out last night. I arrived in Los Angeles from my NYC flight (where I served my cholent) after midnight and I came home to this freshly made, chewy and dense bread. It is delicious and perfect for a sandwich.
The recipe makes two nice sized loaves.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole rye flour (can be replaced by whole wheat)
1 cup mixed grains (any combination of wheat germ, wheat bran, rolled oats, oat bran, millet, ground flax seeds, quinoa, bulghur)
2 cups white bread flour
1 tbs light brown sugar or honey
2 tbs dry yeast or 50 gm (2 oz) fresh yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil and some for oiling the bowl
2 cups and then about an additional cup of water at room temp.
one quarter cup crushed raw walnuts and/or unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together flours and grains, mixing well with a fork. Make a well and add sugar or honey. Add yeast and then 2 cups of water. Mix well by hand, using a wooden spoon. Add salt and oil and continue mixing. Add more water as necessary until dough forms a sticky mass. Knead on floured surface, adding more bread flour as necessary, until dough becomes pliable and elastic, five to ten minutes. Dough will be slightly dense. Form into a ball, oil and place in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 and a half hours. Remove dough from bowl, punch down and cut in two pieces. Use bread flour if necessary on working surface. Roll each piece into a round about the size of a dinner plate, about a quarter of an inch thick. Crushed walnuts and/or sunflower seeds may be sprinkled on the surface of the rounds. Roll up each round, forming a loaf. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 45 minutes. Bake at 360 F for 50 minutes until golden and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on rack.
Bread will freeze well either sliced or unsliced.