Easy, fluffy, delicious--3 words to describe how amazing this whole wheat bread recipe is. When I say it is the best tasting whole wheat bread on this planet, I am not exaggerating. Plus it makes a large batch, which means it's perfect for sharing or freezing.
Bulk Items used: Whole Wheat Flour, Vital Wheat Gluten
I once had this friend who made the most delicious bread in the whole wide world. Seriously, it was the best. I asked her sooo many times for the recipe. She always said she'd give it to me, but she'd always forget. Gosh, it was like she was a busy homeschooling mom of 5 or something. (p.s. she was).
In the meantime, I scoured the internet for a whole wheat bread recipe that was as good as hers. None of them even came close.
But, huzzah! One year our church collected recipes to create a community cookbook. When I got my copy, I crossed my fingers and went straight to the bread section. And what do you know? There was the coveted recipe!
Why this is the Best Whole Wheat Bread
After reading through the ingredients, I noticed there were definitely some ingredients that weren't in the other bread recipes I had been trying.
- Evaporated milk: evaporated milk is made by removing more than half of the water from regular milk. This makes it a lot more creamy and thicker. It gives richness to this bread recipe.
- Molasses: I had tried several recipes that added honey, but this was the first one that I tried that called for molasses. You probably know molasses as the shining star of gingerbread. This sweet and spicy syrup adds depth to the bread's flavor.
- Vital Wheat Gluten: I had never even heard of this ingredient before. I mean, I knew gluten was in bread, but I didn't know you could add more of it in. Apparently you can and should. Adding this in results in a softer, fluffier whole wheat bread than any other recipe I've tried. Do you want to learn more about why vital wheat gluten is awesome in any bread recipe? Check out "What is Vital Wheat Gluten?"
- The recipe suggests allowing the bread to raise in a warm oven. It's great idea to make the bread rise quicker. However, make sure the warm oven is not too warm. If that happens, the outside of the bread will dry out and the loaves will not rise evenly. I warm up my oven by setting it to the lowest heat it will go, and only keeping it on for 10 mins. Alternatively, you could also just turn the oven light on for the whole time the loaves raise. That little light lets off sufficient heat.
- This recipe makes A LOT of bread. How many loves depends on the bread pan size. Usually when I make it, I do three 8x4 inch loaves, and three 5.75x3 inch loaves. The small loaves are fun to share with friends and neighbors. If you are just making large loaves, you could make 5 from this recipe.
- This recipe can be frozen, which is great because it makes so much. Freezing can be done after the loaves have been formed. Instead of letting them rise, you can pop them in the freezer for another day. You could either wrap each loaf up in plastic wrap and place them in freezer ziplock bags to prevent frost bite. I've also used disposable bread pans before. Put the dough in the pans then wrap the entire pan up. To unfreeze, simply take the dough out in the morning and let it rise throughout the day. The dough should be unfrozen and risen by dinner time. The dough should be loosely covered at this point to allow rising.
Can't find Vital Wheat Gluten? Get it online!
As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Incredible Bulks.
The Best Whole Wheat Bread
- 3 ½ cups hot water
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoon yeast
- ⅔ cup oil canola or vegetable recommended for their mild flavor
- ⅓ cup molasses
- ⅔ cup honey
- ⅔ cup vital wheat gluten**
- 1 cup white flour
- 10-12 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tablespoon salt
- Combine water, milk, yeast, oil, molasses, honey, gluten, white flour and 6 cups of wheat flour in mixer. Mix for 1 min. Turn of mixer and let dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Add in salt and remaining 4-6 cups of wheat flour, one cup at a time.* Once all the flour has been added, knead in mixer for 5 minutes. While the bread is kneading, preheat the oven to 15o°
- On an oiled surface, knead bread and divide into loaves. **
- Turn oven off and put loaves in the warm oven to rise for 20 minutes. (Rising can also happen in another warm location). After 20 minutes, remove loaves from the oven and heat to 325°
- Bake small loaves for 18 minutes and large loaves for 25 minutes.