My Grandmother’s recipe for whole wheat bread

With it’s end slice removed, the texture of this homemade bread can easily be seen. It is absolutely delicious!

In an earlier post I had given the recipe for “The perfect loaf of homemade bread”.

In that recipe I used a combination of whole wheat and high gluten bread flour to imitate the rougher grainy flour of yesteryear.

My cousin in Idaho (after seeing my bread post ) wrote me to say that she had Grandma Edwards recipe and still often bakes it. She too had to adjust the flour mixture to imitate the rougher grainy flour that my Grandmother’s grain mill had produced. Sadly, she said the mills disc had worn out and would not grind any finer than a cracked wheat. By trial and error she finally accomplished what she had set out to do… reproduce as closely as possible the flour my Grandmother ground by a hand mill using wheat grain.

When I looked over the recipe, I realized how similar but how different t was from the one I had posted. I decided to bake up a couple of loaves to see what the difference really was. Was I surprised!

My cousin’s recipe was truly an exact reproduction of what old fashioned bread should be. Soft, yet with a true home ground whole wheat texture. It was so full of flavor I knew I had to post it. In the picture you will see the texture this recipe has produced. It is not flaky or crumbly. While soft, it still retains a firm body found in artisan breads. I know I will continue to be making many loaves from this recipe. Here is the recipe my cousin sent me.

2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups of bread flour

3 Tablespoons of sugar. Divide by setting aside 1 tablespoon of sugar to rise yeast

1 ½ teaspoon of salt

2 Tablespoons of melted butter

1 Tablespoon of dark Karo syrup

2 teaspoons of yeast

1 egg yolk

8 ounces of whole milk heated till very warm (If using skim or low fat milk, add two tablespoons of powdered milk.)

Directions

In your electric mixer’s bowl with dough hook, combine and mix together on low, both flours, salt, 2 Tablespoons of sugar  and (powdered milk if using it).

In a smaller bowl combine 8 oz of very warm milk, Karo syrup, melted butter, egg yolk, 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Mix well with a fork and let stand until bubbles begin to form showing that the yeast is activated.

In your dry ingredient mixing bowl, create a low spot in the center and begin to add the wet ingredients while the mixer is on low speed. Continue adding wet mixture until dough begins to form into a soft spongy ball. After mixing for a few minutes, dough should not stick to your fingers when touched but should feel damp. Knead dough for 10 minutes using the electric mixer. After well kneaded, the ball of dough should feel very spongy. Remove dough and place on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand 10 to 15 times forming it into a ball. Place dough ball into a large greased bowl to rise. When dough is doubled in size, remove and press down lightly to deflate the dough ball. Shape into a loaf and place it into a greased bread pan, let rise until ½ inch higher than lip of pan.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees now.

When dough is risen to the desired height, poke holes along the top of the center at 2” intervals no deeper than 1/4″ with a tooth pick to let gas build up escape while rising in the oven. Brush the top of the loaf of bread with milk and place onto middle oven rack in the center. Set a timer for 35 minutes.

Remove when done ( it should sound hollow when thumped) and brush the top with a coat of water this time. Let cool under a kitchen towel.

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