100% Whole Wheat Bread: Healthy & Homemade
There is something incredibly satisfying about baking your own bread, especially when it’s made from 100% whole wheat flour. In this recipe, we’ll be taking you through the process of creating a healthy and homemade whole wheat bread that can be enjoyed by the whole family. From the historical origins of whole wheat bread to ingredients that offer a myriad of health benefits, this bread will become a staple in your kitchen in no time. Keep reading to learn how to make this delicious bread and explore its fascinating history along the way.
To make this wholesome and hearty bread, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (120-130°F)
Notice that our 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe calls for honey or maple syrup as sweeteners rather than refined sugar. By using natural sweeteners, you end up with a tasty and nutritious health boost.
Ready to make your homemade whole wheat loaf? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Make sure these dry ingredients are mixed well before proceeding to the next step.
- Add in the honey or maple syrup, and the melted butter or olive oil. Mix well to incorporate the ingredients.
- Gradually add the warm water to the flour mixture, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
- Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can either use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or knead by hand on a floured surface.
- Once the dough is ready, form it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 60-90 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
- After the dough has risen, gently punch it down. Shape it into a loaf and place it in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Let it rise again for about 30 minutes, until it noticeably increases in size.
- Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 190°F (88°C). When tapped, the loaf should sound hollow.
- Remove the bread from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to fully cool. Enjoy your 100% Whole Wheat Bread!
History of Whole Wheat Bread
As promised, let’s dive into the history of this timeless staple food. The origins of whole wheat bread can be traced back to the Neolithic period, which began around 9500 BCE. It was during this time that early civilizations in the Middle East began cultivating grains, such as wheat and barley, and discovered methods for grinding them into flour.
The art of bread-making gradually spread across the globe, with each culture adapting the process to suit their regional ingredients and preferences. In ancient Egypt, for instance, bread was primarily made from emmer wheat, while ancient Greeks experimented with adding olive oil and herbs to their loaves. Their varied culinary traditions have carried on over the centuries, and continue to influence the way bread is enjoyed today.
Curiosities Surrounding Whole Wheat Bread
Throughout history, whole wheat bread has been associated with a variety of interesting cultural customs. In medieval Europe, it was common practice to use bread as a trencher – a thick, edible plate upon which food was served. This resourceful use of bread not only reduced waste, but also provided diners with a hearty, flavorsome base for their meals.
In some cultures, whole wheat bread is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity. For example, in Slavic countries, it is customary to greet guests with a loaf of golden bread presented on a traditional embroidered towel. This gesture is seen as a way of expressing hospitality and sharing the warmth of one’s home.
As the modern world continues to discover the benefits of healthy eating, the popularity of whole wheat bread is undoubtedly on the rise. By incorporating this nutritious and versatile ingredient into your recipes, you are not only enjoying a delicious bread but also taking part in the rich history and traditions surrounding it. So go ahead, bake your 100% Whole Wheat Bread with pride, and enjoy the countless benefits this bread has to offer.