With the imminent weight of Hurricane Irma bearing down upon us, all we can do is prepare as best we can. And wait. In my neighborhood, gas stations are running out of fuel, Costco is out of bottled water (as if that could ever happen), the grocery shelves all but stripped of non-perishable canned and dry goods. And of course, bread.
Time was…young girls were taught to bake as an essential life skill. As with cooking in general, this knowledge and feeling of self-sufficiency comes in handy during times times of lack.
So, I turn to my humble pantry heroes– yeast, flour, salt, sugar, oil and within an hour or two turned out these delicious fresh loaves to stick in the freezer for later, when we may really appreciate having something to spread our peanut butter on.
I enjoyed this recipe so much I plan to add it to my regular rotation when all of this is over.
Fast (and easy) Whole Wheat Bread
recipe courtesy Vaishali from Holycowvegan.net
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water (not hot– you will kill the yeast)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Place 1 cup of the bread flour, the whole-wheat flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to mix together.
- Add the water and the olive oil and mix. Add more of the bread flour if needed. How much flour you will need will depend on where you live and what the weather’s like. I made this bread on a rainy day in Washington and I needed nearly the whole cup. If you live in a dryer region you might need less.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or with your dough hook set to low speed. You should now have a smooth, pliable ball of dough that’s not at all sticky.
- Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat the top with oil.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside for 30-45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Remove the risen dough from the bowl and punch it well to deflate all the gases. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a triangle about 10 inches long. Now roll the dough toward yourself and make a cylinder, tucking down the seams and pinching them in so you have a smooth loaf.
- Place the dough in a standard loaf pan, seam side down (most loaf pans are 9 X 4 1/2 or 10 X 5 inches)
- Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let the bread rise in a warm place about 30-45 minutes or until the loaf has risen and domed over the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
- Remove the loaf pan to a rack and let it stand until the bread is cool enough to handle. Remove the bread from the pan by loosening the sides with your fingers or a spatula. Place on a rack until it has cooled through.