Homemade wholewheat bread with nourishing grains and seeds
When I first started looking more closely at the labels on the foods I was buying, I remember being shocked at how much sugar was being added to all sorts of items. The most surprising part of it all was that I was finding a lot of it in foods I would have never expected, like bread! I was so confused as to why bread, especially white bread, would ever needed that much added refined sugar.
So, as I beginning my journey in transitioning to more wholesome ingredients, I found it really hard to find any bread without preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or lots of added refined sugar. In order to begin limiting these ingredients, I decided to start making my own bread whenever I could, and after some trial and error, I was finally able to find a recipe that I enjoy making on a regular basis.
This homemade bread is great for making sandwiches, enjoying with a spread, or simply on its own! If you love bread but are looking for a healthier and more wholesome version, this is great place to start! Making your own bread allows you to not only avoid some unhealthy ingredients, but it also helps the environment by limiting plastic packaging.
Of course, I don't always have time to make homemade bread, and sometimes I need to purchase it. If you are on the same boat, or if bread-making isn't for you, here are a couple brands I enjoy that use healthier ingredients!
3 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 pack of instant dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp yeast)
½ tbs salt
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 ½ cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp olive oil (for greasing bowl)
Optional add-ins: (use approximately two tablespoons for each and feel free to add other seeds/ grains of your choice!)
Step by step:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, dry yeast, salt, and flaxseed meal with a wooden spoon
In a separate small bowl, whisk the agave syrup with the warm water
Slowly add in the agave syrup & warm water mixture into your medium bowl
Using a spoon (or stand alone mixer) mix the dry and wet ingredients until a ball begins to form
Once you have a ball starting to form, place the ball onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all ingredients are well mixed together and your dough is nice and smooth (if you aren't using a stand mixer in the previous step, this may take a bit more time)
Grease a medium sized bowl with olive oil and place your dough inside, turning it around a few times to allow all sides to have a bit of olive oil on them
Cover your ball with a kitchen towel and rubber band, ensuring that the towel is taut
Place in a warm room and allow to rise for 2-4 hours
After 2-4 hours in a warm room, refrigerate for an additional 2 hours
Take the dough out of the fridge and form a small hole in the middle (using your fingers) to allow space for optional seeds/grains
Once the seeds/grains are in the small hole you created, knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes, until it has an elastic-like consistency and the seeds are spread out
Shape your dough into a loaf
Using a knife, create three strikes on the top
Add a dash of flour on top and, if you would like, a few more seeds/oats for a topping
Place a sheet of parchment paper or a reusable baking sheet onto a medium sized baking pan
Place your loaf onto the pan and loosely cover with a kitchen towel
Allow to rise for one hour
Towards the end of the one hour, preheat your oven to 375° (or approximately 190° Celsius)
Place loaf into the oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes
Allow loaf to cool, and when ready, cut and enjoy!