Fresh, fragrant whole wheat bread on a very chilly night is the essence of comfort food! Slathered with butter (a healthy, vegan version is perfect), and served with a hot cup of Darjeeling, it is enough. There's no need for jam, jelly, or peanut butter. Just plain bread, butter, and a cup of tea is all it takes for a plain and delightful teatime snack, especially on a cold evening when you can eat it in front of a blazing fire.
This is my favorite whole grain bread recipe. Usually I bake it in a automatic bread machine, but sometimes it is nice to work the dough with one's hands and make it the old-fashioned way. This evening I baked it in miniature loaf pans (an eight-place muffin tin with loaf-shaped holes). These little loaves can be cut into miniature slices or eaten out of hand like a dinner roll.
Whole Grain Bread
2 1/2 tsp. fast rise yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
(or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
& 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup gluten flour (or up to 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup soy milk (or alternative)
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ascorbic acid
(or one crushed vitamin C tablet)
Place all ingredients in mixed (Kitchen Aid or Bosch). Mix for ten minutes to develop the gluten. Because each batch of flour has its own moisture content, you may need to adjust the amount of water in the recipe, adding up to 1/4 cup more water or milk. Remove dough from mixture and allow to rest in a warm place until double in bulk. Then, punch dough down and roll into a long, smooth roll. Slice into eight sections. Roll into mini-loaves and place in loaf tin. Allow to rise again until double in size. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Loaves are done when they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil. Remove from pans and allow to cool.
Rustic, wholesome, and delicious!