Ginger wins!

So I added powdered ginger to my wheat bread recipe and made the best bread ever.  I picked up a magazine (LDS Living) that had baking tips from the head baker at the Lion House in Salt Lake City.   I guess waiting an hour and a half for a new muffler wasn't a complete drag.

Her name is Brenda Hopkin and she said that by adding 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ginger to your wheat bread you could increase the volume of your yeast.  She wasn't specific, but I think she meant "per loaf".  I thought I'd give it a try.

This recipe came from my sister, Valerie, who makes it for her husband and five very active boys.  Its a great recipe - hot wheat bread in an hour and a half.  I had a hard time getting the hang of it (think bricks) until I asked her what I was doing wrong.  The recipe wants you to let it rest for 15 minutes, not rise until doubled like most bread recipes do.  I'd go off and get distracted by something shiny and forget I was making bread, and come back to find dough oozing over the side of the bowl.  More bricks.

So here's the recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread

5 cups hot tap water
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons salt
3 heaping tablespoons yeast
12-14 cups wheat flour (I used 13 cups)
1/2-1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

I grind my own wheat.  I believe this is hard white wheat - its a good way to rotate our home storage supply, and cheaper that store-bought wheat flour.

Mix everything together.  I have never bothered with dissolving yeast in water before adding it.  The only time I do is when I'm not sure if the yeast is still active.  I only use enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the sides.  Mix it on high for six minutes.

It will be sticky and very soft!  Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover it and set the timer for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, get your pans ready.  

I used to have eight nice bread pans, but who knows where they are now.  Probably in the backyard with all those plastic containers we used to call Tupperware.  I have two left.  Bread pans, not Tupperware.  I have some 8" foil bread pans that I keep reusing and they're so cute!  This recipe made two regular loaves and four smaller loaves.  If you're using regular pans, it will make five.

Divide the dough into six separate lumps and don't worry, the counter has been disinfected...Shape them into loaves and place them in the greased pans.  

Cover them and set the timer for 25-30 minutes, just enough time to watch a few of Mater's Tall Tales.  Yes, the kids are all grown, but my husband and I are kids at heart.  
(A few minutes before the timer goes off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees)

The recipe says to bake for 30 minutes, but that's a little too long for me so I baked them for 25 minutes instead and they were perfect.

Light and fluffy and delicious with butter and honey.  

If you have a favorite bread recipe, I'd love to try it!


pamelacg said...

Great! Now I'm missing you AND I'm hungry!

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