Alisa Fleming ~ With the economy in what seems to be a neverending tailspin, I have seen many, many people turning to home-baked bread. I’m fortunate to have a bit of head start in this department. This whole grain bread recipe is just one of the many I have mixed, kneaded, and baked over the years.
Years ago, finding dairy-free loaves of bread in the stores was no easy feat; most contained milk in some form, whether it was milk powder, whey, butter, cream, or plain old nonfat milk. Not willing to give up sandwiches and toast, I started baking bread from scratch, constantly in pursuit of the perfect whole grain bread recipe. Since those early days, some good brands of bread have emerged which are in fact dairy-free, but I stick to homemade. Both my husband and I agree that it tastes infinitely better, and it is still much less expensive. Plus, it gives me control over the ingredients used.
When you are first starting out, baking bread can seem intimidating, but recipes like this one are so simple that you will wonder why you didn’t begin baking your own bread long ago.
- 2 Cups Warm Water
- 3-1/2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (just over 1-1/2 .25-ounce packages will do)
- 5-1/4 Cups Whole Wheat or Whole Spelt Flour (or a combination of the two)
- 2-1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons White or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Seeds (I use ⅓ cup each of sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds)
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in about ½ cup of the water (no need to be exact, you will be adding the rest of the water shortly).
- Let that rest for a few minutes while you grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
- Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Add all remaining ingredients (rest of the water, vinegar, and seeds), and mix until a relatively smooth dough is formed. Mine was still a touch sticky, but still able to be handled and formed without completely sticking to my fingers.
- Form the dough into a loaf shape that will fit end to end in your pan. I just sort of shape it, and then roll it a few times on the counter to make it look a little nicer and be the right length.
- Lightly cover the loaf with saran wrap or a tea towel, and let it rise in a relatively warm, draft-free place, for about an hour to an hour and a half. It should double in size and fill out the pan nicely.
- Preheat your oven to 480ºF (250ºC). Bake the loaf for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 390ºF (200ºC), and bake it for another 45 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the pan (it should pop right out), and knock on the bottom. If it genuinely sounds hollow, then it is done. If you think it needs a little more time, pop it back in the oven and bake it for longer as needed. My loaf was done after the initial hour, but you may need another 10-20 minutes, depending on moisture and such.
This recipe is Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Sugar free, and Low fat.