Well hello there, homemade bread.
This wonderful bread is 100% whole wheat, loaded with fiber and healthy fats, and made with just five ingredients. Plus some water and salt, but I don’t count those since they’re always hanging around the kitchen.
You can tell a great loaf of bread from the sound of the crust. Just a little squeeze and these loaves crackle and crunch before giving way to the fluffiness inside. Topped with a bit of local butter and strawberry preserves, and we’ve got ourselves a winner.
Last weekend marked my first time making homemade bread — two beautiful whole wheat flaxseed loaves that filled our apartment with warmth and the best smells ever. I mean seriously. Next to freshly cut grass, the wafting and lingering aromas of bread baked lovingly and with true intention is definitely a top contender for my favorite smells of all time. I so wish I could send you smells through the interwebs. K and I love this stuff so much, one of the loaves managed to disappear within 24 hours of coming out of the oven. Whoops!
With our wedding coming up so quickly and my weekends spent with friends and family at bridal showers, my kitchen is starting to fill up with wonderful new toys to experiment with and learn from. I’m feeling so very blessed — and slightly overwhelmed! — by everyone’s generosity. With my new tools in hand, I’ve got so many ideas running through my head. It’s hard to focus on just one thing to try and perfect for the blog.
So I decided to keep it simple for you guys — and for me — this week, and spent my Sunday morning lingering in the kitchen, watching the dough rise and the crust turn a lovely dark hue in the oven.
Not to mention I got to take my shiny new Kitchen Aid stand mixer for a spin! Pretty much immediately after I took it out of the box. It’s found a permanent home on the kitchen counter, never to be relegated to the dark corners of our pantry or stuffed into a cabinet that I can barely reach. No no, she’ll be keeping me company right out in the open with her sunny disposition.
Did I mention it’s just the most perfect shade of yellow? Swoon…
My wonderful grandma and grandpa sent K and I the mixer as a wedding gift, so I’ll be thinking of them each time I use it. And yes, those are my legs making an awkward reflection on the bowl… And a sneak peek at my make-shift pantry off to the right. Ahh well.
Okay so if you’re not quite sold on making your own bread — it does require a bit of a time investment — I can assure you that homemade bread is soooo much better than store bought, on so many levels:
- You feel so incredibly accomplished! Taking simple, humble ingredients and turning them into something extraordinary for yourself and your loved ones to enjoy is so satisfying.
- No unpronounceable ingredients here. Forget about that interesterified soybean oil, invert sugar and crystalline fructose. You’ve probably got each of the ingredients in this recipe in your pantry right now, and if not — you can easily find them at pretty much any store. I mean, interesterified what?!
- Cut down the sugar content by ten times. Each slice of the bread K and I used to love — 100% whole wheat — had four grams of sugar. Four grams. That’s a whole teaspoon! And that adds up really quick. An entire loaf had the equivalent of a 1/4 cup of sugar. It might as well have been cake…
- That smell! ‘Nuff said.
Don’t have a stand mixer? No worries! You can totally make this recipe step-by-step — it’ll just take a bit of extra muscle. You’ll get your workout in and enjoy the bread even more as a reward after. 🙂 I love to slice it up straight out of the oven while it’s steaming hot. It practically burns my fingers, but nothing can keep me from slathering it in butter and preserves. Or neufchatel and honey. Or goat cheese and prosciutto. Uh oh, now I’m hungry.
Cozy up in your kitchen with this 5-ingredient, 100% whole wheat flaxseed bread.
- 2 ¼ tsp dry active yeast
- 3 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F), divided
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 6-7 cups whole wheat flour
- In a small bowl, combine ½ cup water with the yeast and maple syrup. Allow to set until frothy, about 5 minutes. Pour into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (see the notes section if you don't have one!). Add the remaining water, olive oil, flaxseed, salt and 3 cups of flour. Turn the stand mixer on low, stirring until combined. Add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, and knead until the dough becomes elastic, about 5-6 minutes -- don't over knead or the resulting loaves will be very chewy. Scrape down the sides occasionally as necessary. I used 6.5 cups of flour total for the pictured bread. The dough will still be sticky.
- Coat a large mixing bowl with about 1 tsp of olive oil. Scrape the dough into the bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and wrap with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and allow to rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out two 8-inch loaf pans.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the dough in half. Turn one half out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 8x12-inch rectangle. Gently grab one of the 8-inch sides and role the dough up tightly. Place into a loaf pan seam side down. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise above the edges of the pans, about 10 minutes.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and from the load pans to a cooling rack.