For my birthday this year I requested a wheat grinder, since I have accumulated quite a few cans of red wheat for food storage. I really wanted to start turning those wheat berries into whole wheat flour, which if eaten right away, is super healthy. I’m here to tell you…I have been blessed! I have a new wheat grinder!!
I love baking, I really do! Yet some recipes really try my patience when they don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to. This recipe for Whole Wheat Bread definitely was one of those recipes. I think a lot of my problems came from my new altitude here in the high desert of New Mexico. But I didn’t give up. I was determined to create fabulously tasting and healthy wheat bread from my freshly ground whole wheat flour!
Turns out there are a few secret ingredients to create the ultimately delicious wheat bread. One of them is a portion of white flour. (Yes I know it sounds like cheating, but it helps lighten the texture of the loaf.) Another is toasted wheat germ and a bit of rye flour, which give the bread a depth of flavors and heartiness. I have reworked and reworked this recipe to get it just right. Altitude can make a huge difference in your baking, especially with breads and cakes. The higher the elevation, the less air pressure. Less pressure means your breads will rise more quickly. My loaves would fall flat in the oven. They would rise beautifully, then just cave in like a balloon that lost all it’s air! Completely deflated!
After doing a little research, I now believe I was letting the dough rise too long, and the gluten eventually over came the gasses from the yeast and deflated the loaf. I shortened the rise time and the amount of yeast just a bit. Finally~ perfect loaves of deliciously hardy wheat bread! Perfect texture and the heartiness of American bread in a classic loaf. Mind you this recipe is tailored to 5600 feet above sea level :0)