This Basic Whole-Grain Bread Recipe is a healthy vegetarian bread dish from the cookbook "Laurel's Kitchen".
Basic Bread Recipe:
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
Here's the blueprint for our standard miracle loaf. Every frill has been removed, so it's perfect for beginners.
Pour the warm water into a large bowl. Add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. In a few minutes, when the yeast comes bubbling to the top, stir in half of the whole wheat flour and beat very well, until the dough ceases to be grainy and becomes smooth and stretchy.
Add the salt and the remaining flour cup by cup, mixing well. Knead it in the bowl until it's no longer sticky, then turn it out onto a floured board.
As the dough gets stiffer and harder to knead, sprinkle the remaining flour a little at a time on the tabletop or board and knead the dough on top of it.
Knead, push, and fold until the dough is soft and springy to touch, and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl snugly, allowing room for the dough to double in bulk.
Grease two loaf pans or two 46-ounce juice cans. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into an oblong the length of the loaf pan, or, if you're using cans, roll the dough into an egg-shaped blob, pinching the substance tightly together at the seams. Slide the formed loaves into the pans, or push them down into the cans, and press down all around the sides so that no air is trapped below.
Cover the pans or cans to protect them from drafts and let the loaves rise once more, until they have doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit towards the end of this rising period. When the bread is rounded just above the rim, bake it for about 40 minutes. When you remove it from the pan and tap it on the sides or bottom, it should sound slightly hollow. The color should be a rich golden brown. Allow the bread to cool, then slice and serve. Makes 2 loaves.
Variations: Knead in 1 cup raisins or a handful of chopped herbs: oregano, dill, basil, parsley, thyme.
Form round loaves, brush with beaten egg, and bake on cookie sheets. Dough should be quite stiff for this.
Read more about vegetarian meals: Laurel's Kitchen: Vegetarian Meal Recipes.
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