baking · vegan

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

The smell of freshly baked bread fills the entire house. 

It draws everyone from upstairs to come join in the feast.

I don’t buy bread from the store any more.

With this recipe, I don’t need to.

This recipe is a combination of previous recipes, but through time and experience, I have perfected the process. My favorite part: this simple recipe only requires 30 minutes of preparation, and the dough rises and bakes in the oven in less than an hour.

It is also versatile, as it can be made in a Bosch or by hand. It can also be baked as loaves or rolls. It can also work as pizza crust or rolled up into cinnamon rolls.

Several families have begged me to share how I make my bread. So tonight I sat down and typed up the directions to share with you! I have tried to explain the process and add my tips along the way. Please contact me if you have any questions. I would love to hear your experiences making it! 

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HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Prep: 20-30 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour. Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp. fast active-dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 10-11 cups* whole wheat flour

Directions:

For the Bosch machine:

  1. Turn on your water faucet to warm/hot. I check the temperature with my hand before I measure out the water for the bread. You don’t want it too hot though, or it can kill the yeast.
  2. After the water is warm enough, measure out the water, pour it into the Bosch bowl, and add the honey, yeast, and salt. Turn the Bosch machine on for a few seconds to mix ingredients. Let it rest for 3-5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foams. (If the mixture foams it means the yeast is working! It’s important to wait and see if the yeast is working so the bread turns out well.)
  3. Turn on the Bosch machine to speed 1. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, allowing the Bosch to incorporate it in along the way. You know you have added just enough flour when the dough starts to pull away from the sides. (You can also turn off the machine, use a spatula to scrape off the sides, and turn on the machine again and see if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl again. If so, add just a little more flour.)
  4. Pre-heat oven to the lowest heat setting (around 170°F).
  5. While oven is preheating, Divide the dough: spray the counter table with non-stick cooking spray. Lay dough on the sprayed counter, and divide into 4-5 smooth mounds. Place into greased loaf pans.
  6. Place dough into preheated oven, and turn off the oven. Let the dough rise in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
  7. Set oven temperature to 350°F, and then bake the loaves for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pans immediately and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make by Hand:

  1. Turn on your water faucet to warm/hot. I check the temperature with my hand before I measure out the water for the bread. You don’t want it too hot though, or it can kill the yeast.
  2. After the water is warm enough, measure out the water, pour it into the largest bowl you have. (This will help prevent making a mess on the counter….) Add the honey, yeast, and salt. Let it rest for 3-5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foams. (If the mixture foams it means the yeast is working! It’s important to wait and see if the yeast is working so the bread turns out well.)
  3. Once the yeast has done its thing, add the flour 1 cup at a time, kneading it in along the way. Knead for approximately 5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, but only add enough flour so the dough barely pulls away from the bowl.
  4. Pre-heat oven to the lowest heat setting (around 170°F).
  5. Spray the counter table with non-stick cooking spray. Lay dough on the sprayed counter, and divide into 4-5 smooth mounds. Place into greased loaf pans.
  6. Place dough into preheated oven, and turn oven off. Let the dough rise in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
  7. Set oven temperature to 350°F, and then bake the loaves for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pans immediately and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make into rolls:

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  1. Make dough either in Bosch machine or by hand and pre-heat oven (steps 1 through 4).
  2. Separate dough into balls: golf-ball size for smaller rolls, or tennis-ball size for larger rolls for hamburger buns. Place rolls on greased baking sheets (I use anywhere from 5-6).
  3. Place in oven on warm setting to rise for 20 minutes, or until double in size. Turn on oven to 350°F and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  4. Let cool on pans. Store in plastic bags.

Notes:

  1. Freshly ground flour is preferable. If you have any leftover freshly ground flour, store the remaining flour in the freezer — this helps preserve the nutrients longer.
  2. *The amount of flour you use will depend on the climate, humidity and elevation of the place you live. Sometimes I am just fine with 10 cups, but other times I have had to add 11 cups.
  3. You can either make an entire batch of bread in rolls, or you can do half-and-half loaves and rolls. Just keep an eye on the rolls when baking both together, as the rolls will cook faster.
  4. Bread will cook faster in metal pans than in glass pans, and it will turn golden brown faster than when baked in glass pans.
  5. This bread stores really well in the freezer when kept in Ziploc Freezer plastic gallon baggies. When you finish a loaf, take another out of the freezer and let it thaw for a few hours before cutting.
  6. Nutritional facts in printer-friendly version.
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What is your favorite spread on sandwiches?

I’m a girl who loves her peanut butter! I also like hummus with this bread.

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Health And Nutrition · vegan

Blueberry Banana Pancakes 

How are we as Americans doing on our fruit and vegetable intake? 

In 2013, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) found that less than 18% of adults in America eat the recommended amounts of fruit, with less than 14% of adults in America eating the recommended amounts of vegetables.

With this issue in mind, the 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we increase our intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as consume less than 10% of our total caloric intake from added sugar.

What can we do about this?

We can pay attention.

We can act.

I love creating nutrient-dense recipes for my family. Pancakes are one of our favorites. Good news here, this pancake recipe has all the added sugar cut out, in addition to containing whole grains and 1 cup equivalent of fruit per serving.

By topping them with more fruit instead of maple syrup, you can have a delicious treat while increasing the nutrient density of an American favorite breakfast.

You CAN eat well delicious!   

BLUEBERRY BANANA PANCAKES

Yields about 8 pancakes, or 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Turn on your skillet/griddle to medium to medium-high heat.
  2. While your skillet is heating up, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. Combine the bananas, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, and add to flour mixture. Stir to combine. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Once your skillet is ready, spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter onto the skillet using a 1/3-cup measuring cup. 
  4. Once you see lots of bubbles, carefully flip the pancakes (they will be delicate). It should take about 1-2 minutes per side. As soon as they are lightly golden brown on both sides, remove them from the heat.
  5. Top with your favorite toppings, and dig in! 

Notes:

I used organic unsweetened soy milk, but you can use any milk you would like. Fresh or frozen blueberries will work. We topped our pancakes with 1/2 cup homemade unsweetened applesauce and more blueberries.

You can also use ¼ cup unsweetened protein powder in place of ¼ cup of the flour to increase the amount of protein. 1/4 cup coconut flour would also work, which would bring a coconut flavor as well as another good source of fiber. 

*Nutritional facts listed in printer-friendly version linked below. 

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What are your favorite pancake toppings?

What are some ways you are increasing the nutrient density of the foods you eat? 

chocolate · peanut butter · vegan

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal

I have an addiction.

Chocolate.

The darker the better.

But with all the fiber, protein, and nutrients, this a delicious treat that you’ll come back to time and time again!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 to 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk of choice*
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • optional: 2 tsp honey, or to taste*
DIRECTIONS

Overnight version: Stir together oats, cocoa powder, and chia seeds in a medium size sauce pan. Add vanilla and milk, and whisk together. Leave in the fridge overnight. The next morning, heat on stove top over medium-high heat until oatmeal is to your desired thickness. Serve with a dollop of peanut butter on top and dig in!

Microwave version: Combine oats, cocoa, and chia seeds in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk in vanilla and half of the milk. (This helps avoid spills.) Add other half of milk, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Let oatmeal cool for 1-2 minutes (which allows the soluble fiber of the chia and oatmeal to thicken). Top with peanut butter and dig in!

Yields 2 servings

NOTES
  • Add cocoa powder to taste. I love dark chocolate, so I add a lot to mine. However, my husband prefers a sweeter chocolate, so I add less for him. I also like how more cocoa powder makes the oatmeal a more chocolaty color.
  • I have used unsweetened soy milk, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla soy milk, and even regular cow’s milk (for those can drink it), and it all works.
  • Add more or less honey or another sweetener to taste. This will depend on the kind of milk you use as well as how dark you like your chocolate.
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It’s better than Reese’s! And you get to eat a whole bowl of it!

Question: What chocolate bar oatmeal creation should I create next?

I was thinking of an Almond Joy Oatmeal. Perhaps Mint Chocolate?