For the past few months I have been trying to find the best whole wheat sandwich bread recipe that I can make and not screw up. This is a tall order for me because even though I do everything that the recipe asks of me, I somehow always mess up whole wheat bread. They come out too flat, too dense and way too dry. My secret quest is to make a bread just like Dave’s Killer Bread. So far, though, I am not even close. That is, until I borrowed this book from the library: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
This book is from the authors of the popular book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. Whoa, whoa, 5 minutes a day? Is that even possible? My best answer is sort of. The basic premise behind the book is to eliminate the kneading of the dough. Especially with whole wheat breads, kneading can be tough to master. Not only is the dough much denser compared to that of white flour, but it is easy to over-knead as well as under-knead or to add too much flour, or not enough. Ask me how I know. I have painfully eaten loaves and loaves of whole wheat bricks because something went wrong and throwing “good” food away is something I just cannot bring myself to do.
So how do you make the bread? I made the recipe for Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. First, I mixed my dry and wet ingredients separately, then mixed them together until everything was incorporated, and let it rise in a bowl for roughly 2 hours. This all took about 5 minutes and no kneading!!! Yay!
After the dough had risen to about twice it’s size (during Laird’s nap), I covered it and stuck in the refrigerator. The authors recommend keeping the dough in the fridge at least overnight, as it is much easier to handle.
The next day, I cut off a cantaloupe sized chunk of dough, formed an oval and let it rise in the loaf pan for a couple more hours while we went to church. That took about 1 minute. When I got home, the dough had risen considerably and I placed it in in my pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes. When it was done, the bread had a nice golden color and the “crumb,” as they call it, was perfectly moist and not too dense.
Curt and lil man both seemed to enjoy it (finally, no more bricks). And the great part about it is, the other half of the dough is still in the fridge and will stay good for another 2 weeks. The downside is the dough tends to pick up a sourdough like flavor the longer it sits, and I’m not a huge fan of sourdough.
It’s a great concept and it works well for me, as I can just make a loaf of bread whenever I want now without all the preparation and timing involved. I think “10 minute” bread would be more truthful though, as you really have to be quick at measuring and mixing to get it all done in 5 minutes. But, really, what’s 10 minutes? It beats kneading that’s for sure.