I have to focus on what flours I still have that I didn’t use as often before, because I am now almost completely out of all-purpose flour. It is no longer common to see bags of all-purpose flour in our grocery stores or even bread flour! The only flours that are not being bought at higher rates are the gluten-free flours–tapioca, brown rice, oat, etc. I hope this isn’t the new normal, but hopefully I’d like to think that the people who ended up buying more flour than they usually do had good reason to do that and are not letting it just sit in their cupboards. I don’t agree with the stockpiling mentality, but understand that for some people, it helps ease their minds that they have what they need plus more if needed. To hoard and to stockpile is not the worst thing you could do during this pandemic. Ugh, I’m so done with this pandemic. I wish there was a switch to just turn it off or have an instant vaccine. But I am finding that it helps to not complain and to count your blessings or be thankful or grateful with what you’ve still got in life. Because it’s all we have, right?
This is a simple loaf of whole wheat bread that I found on the King Arthur flour website. I really like that they added maple syrup and different kinds of seeds as options. I thought they would be distracting in whole wheat bread, but they actually are very subtle and complement the whole wheat very well. The only thing I added to the recipe was to grease the bowl and pan with melted butter and to also top the loaf with more melted butter once it was taken out of the oven to rest before being sliced. Make sure it cools adequately before slicing.
whole wheat bread loaf
3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used White Whole Wheat Flour)
2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 and 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
Place the water in a bowl and add the yeast and a very small amount of the maple syrup, stir gently and leave to bloom for about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl add the flour, salt, sesame seeds, and vital wheat gluten (if using), and stir with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
Pour the yeast/water, oil, and the rest of the maple syrup on top of the flour mixture in the bowl and stir with a spoon until a rough dough forms then transfer to a clean floured work surface or counter and knead for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and grease the bowl that you used with oil or melted butter and cover and leave undisturbed in a warm area for about an hour. Mine took 2 hours until doubled, because we are cold (hearted) people.
After doubled, punch down dough and knead very briefly, then form into a loaf for an 8.5 by 4.5 loaf pan, either lightly greased with oil, or melted butter. Transfer loaf to pan and cover loosely with a piece of parchment paper or plastic. Leave to double again for about 45 minutes to an hour. Dough will be ready to be baked once you indent a finger into the side of the dough and it springs back very slowly. dough will have risen to slightly above the rim of the pan.
Bake in a 375 degree F. oven and for about 35 minutes, or until tapping on the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow. You can also use a thermometer, and are looking for 190 degrees F. internally. After removing from the oven, let sit on a wire rack for about 30 minutes to an hour. I spread the top with more melted butter, but of course you can skip this step.