Bread so Good, It is Worthy of Butter

Option one:  Go to the store and buy it. Just kidding. Mostly.
Option two:  Get your neighbor to bake it for ya!
Option three: Practice, practice, practice. Fail, fail, succeed, fail, fail, continue pattern...

I have a confession. I have not made bread in at least eight months... until today. Why? Because I learned that sprouted flour is more nutritious than regular old ground flour and so I spent all kinds of time sprouting wheat berries and then dehydrating then and then grinding them. And I ran out of time to do it all, so I just stopped baking. Then I thought I should start again, but I read more stuff that said bread is probably why I can't shed the last 15 baby pounds. Well, guess what? Eight months with no bread and that 15 lbs is still there. So, I am done blaming bread and back to making it again. And holy butter fat! It is good!

There was one other reason, besides the time commitment and the carb fear. I can find really good sandwich bread at the Dollar Tree for $1 a loaf.  The good kind. With no high fructose corn syrup. No enriched wheat flour.  Hard to pass up on a deal like that. Until, that is, I got too busy to stop at more than one store in town. So, yesterday we were out of bread. I ran to the local store where they wanted $3.50 a loaf for that same stuff I could get at Dollar Tree. I reached for the cheap-O stuff and almost fainted at the ingredients. I decided I better dust off my bread pans. We are back on the bread wagon!

I went to visit a dear friend in Nebraska recently. She makes the best bread ever. I overdosed on it. The recipe I will share with you is mostly hers. But I always mess with stuff, so now it is kinda mine. I should probably be better about following her recipe exactly because my bread is delicious, but hers rises to the ceiling, and beyond and has the most perfect texture ever. I am convinced that you must have Bosch to make good bread. It is on my list. One day, I may need to make it by hand, but until then, welcome to the 21st Century!

The Most Delicious Whole Wheat Bread Ever, in All the World! And the Universe if There is Bread Out there. Or as I call it, Janna's Bread:

3/4 cup warm water
3 T yeast
1 t honey
1/2 t Vitamin C powder
Whisk them all together and allow them to rise until foamy.

While the Yeast is rising, melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan.
Add 2/3 cup of  the butter (you will use the rest later)
2/3 cup of honey
1 T sea salt to a stand mixer.
Mix until incorporated.
Pour in the foamy yeast.

While the Butter is melting, grind your wheat. I use hard white wheat for a softer, fluffier bread.

Next add 4 cups of warm liquid. You can use water. That is what the recipe calls for, but I have found that this is also a great way to use up the whey that is strained off of home made yogurt or cream cheese. I also like to use buttermilk or clabbered milk. Or a mix of all of them!

To the mixer, add 7 cups of flour. Once that is incorporated, add 3 more cups.

Then add up to three more, one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the bowl, but is still tacky. Adding too much flour makes crumbly bread. Let it knead for 3-5 minutes.

If you press and hold the dough, you should get a bit on your fingers.
Next, use some of the remaining melted butter to butter a large bowl and plop the dough in.

Cover with a towel and set in the oven with the light on. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Because I did not spend a lot of time kneading this dough, it requires a second rise to fully develop the gluten. So, cover it up and let it rise again. This time it should be done in 30 min.

Look! A bun in the oven. Time to take it out and place it on a buttered surface or a Silpat.

 Divide it into five even parts. (I use a kitchen scale to do this.)

Working with one ball at a time, roll the dough out flat to get out any air bubbles and avoid air pockets in the center of your loaf.

Take the end nearest you and roll it up. Squeeze the ends together and smooth it into a loaf.

Use more of the melted butter to butter 5 medium loaf pans and put the roll seam side down in the pan.

Cover and let rise again for 45 min to an hour.

This is about as high as my loaves get. I have learned that if I leave them much longer, they will actually fall. My friend gets them to rise well over the top. Maybe I will figure out that trick someday! Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min or until the tops are nice and brown. Take them out and brush the remaining melted butter on top. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.

Slather with butter and top with honey. This bread is very soft and makes great sandwiches when it is fresh. I often slice it and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then freeze them individually to throw in lunchboxes fast.

I only made four loaves today. The fifth became dinner. It made two mighty fine pizzas.

Then of course, more bread and butter for dessert. Wheat belly be danged!

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  1. I'm going to try this recipe. I agree on the grain thing. I think we sometimes make it too complicated trying to follow everyone's different opinions and the stress is not worth it!

  2. Now I want to make some bread... I'm a tad jealous that you've eaten Janna's bread so recently. The best bread ever!

    1. I am sure she would make you some if you stopped by! :)

  3. We bake most of our own bread in the Autumn and Winter and even into the Spring. About this time of year I completely fall off the wagon and start buying it. It's just TOO HOT! Our home, which was built in 1930 does not have central air. Using the oven too much is a sure fire way to have us all overheated.

    You bread looks LOVELY. I'll have to pin it for October! :-)

    1. We have a 2004 home and it gets too hot in the summer. We are looking into an outdoor oven just for summer bread baking.

  4. That is some good looking bread AND pizza! I'm happy to hear not everyone is jumping on the gluten free bandwagon. LOL!!

    1. If one has celiac or a wheat allergy, then I totally get the gluten free thing. But that poor humble wheat kernal, the staff of life is getting an undeserved shaft!

  5. I'm going to try this! I don't have a grinder or dehydrator, but have found I can soak the wheat and achieve the same results as soaking the grain. It just takes some time and practice. :)
    And I agree, sometimes it's just easier to buy something at the store. But fortunately for me, we really don't eat a lot of bread!

  6. Can you tell me what kind of vitamin c powder you use?

    1. Yes ma'am, I use this one. http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-vitamin-c-powder-5-grams-per-serving-8-45-oz-240-g

  7. Yummy! That bread and pizza look soooo good!

  8. There's nothing quite like fresh-baked bread. Now that we're empty nesters, I don't make it. But I remember when our children were in our home how quickly that first loaf out of the oven was enjoyed.

  9. Sounds super good! Home made bread is the best bread!!

  10. Do you think you could upload the original Janna's bread recipe, without tweaking? I'm just curious to compare the differences and maybe figure out the rising dilemma. Thank you! This looks so delicious!

    1. Her difference was canola oil instead of butter and 2 cups of white flour. No vitamin c powder. Sometimes she lets it raise once, sometimes twice. But hers always turns out great. She suggested next time only allowing one rise. I am going to try that. Could be the white flour that makes it raise so high.

  11. Wheat bell be danged...love it! Thanks for sharing this wonderful bread tutorial at Saturday Dishes. I hope you'll return this week and share a salad recipe.

  12. Yum! Thanks for sharing your post with us on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you tomorrow!

  13. I miss making bread, and my kids miss it, too. The pan for my bread machine fell apart, and I haven't made any since then.

    Thanks for linking up at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

  14. This looks awesome! I found you through The Prairie Homestead. I co-host the From the Farm Blog Hop. The party just started yesterday, so we would love for you to come share with us!
    Fresh Eggs Daily

  15. I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

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  17. Thanks for Sharing this recipe!