Who doesn’t love a sandwich option when trying to feed your family all day, every day? Bringing you more lunchbox friendly recipes with this one hundred percent whole wheat sandwich bread (that your family will actually eat), making it easier to incorporate whole grains into your diet. I’ve also included a recipe for Pumpkin Seed Butter at the end of the post, which was a bonus post with the blender attachment in January. It makes a wonderful nut-free substitute for peanut butter. And that is especially helpful if you are packing school lunches right now.
A basic bread dough is nothing more than flour, water, yeast and salt. Freshly baked bread can quickly stale and harden by the next day though, which is why I add eggs, olive oil, milk and flaxseed meal. The fat and moisture in these ingredients help the bread stay softer longer AND help with the texture of a whole wheat loaf. Also, honey is a natural preservative and aids the shelf-life of your homemade bread, which is why I include a little in this recipe. I don’t like my whole wheat bread to taste sweet, but if you prefer more of a honey-wheat flavor, then check out Ashley’s Favorite Yeast Bread. She also uses whole wheat flour, but doesn’t add eggs or milk, which is helpful if you have food allergies to consider.
I make 2 loaves out of this recipe. You could definitely get 3 out of the amount of dough, but I like my sandwich bread nice and tall, which is why I only do 2 loaves in regular sized loaf pans. This amount is perfect for my family, because we eat anywhere from 1-2 loaves per week. If you need more, just double the recipe! I also wrap the second loaf really well and then store it in the freezer until we need it. Lightly toast before using, and it’s like you have freshly baked bread again. Bread you are using should be stored on the counter, well wrapped. Putting it in the fridge, while making it last longer before molding, actually dries it out and stales it quicker.
I’ve had my fair share of terrible tasting whole wheat bread, and I’ve found that besides incorporating the ingredients talked about above, the flour itself is very important! If you are like me, and do most of your baking with whole-grain flours, then you might want to look into a flour mill. I grind all of my whole grain flours, and it makes a TON of difference in the flavor department. But if that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or budget, then buy whole grain flour from a brand that you trust. There are plenty of smaller companies who mill flour in batches and specify use by dates, unlike a lot of store brands that just seem to sit indefintely on the shelf and have a weird metallic/rancid taste. Look for a whole wheat flour that says made from hard wheat (red or white) because that is going to give you the necessary gluten content for making bread. Stay away from pastry/cake flour for bread baking.
And now on to the actual making of the bread. The roller/scraper attachments are excellent for making softer breads. In fact, I rarely use the dough hook. In order to achieve a soft loaf, you are only going to add enough flour until the dough is still slightly sticky. Once it kneads and proofs, the flour and water have had time to come together and it isn’t sticky anymore. One note about mixing speed. If you own an older model, the motor is not as powerful as the new model. So you might want to adjust your speed accordingly. The dough roller should be consistently kneading and making contact with the dough. If it is just flinging a dough ball around, or the dough isn’t moving much, adjust the speed, and possibly lock the roller further or closer from the side of the bowl.
Once your dough is ready to shape, you can decide if you want to do 2 or 3 loaves. Either way you would use regular sized loaf pans. Forming a loaf is easy, just takes a little practice. Make sure you roll it up tightly, otherwise you’ll have air pockets inside.
Whole Wheat Flaxseed Sandwich Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 1/2 hours
240 g. (1 cup) water
351 g. (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
3 large eggs
73 g. (1/3 cup) olive oil
28 g. (1 Tbsp.) honey
12 g. (1 Tbsp.) instant yeast
1025 g. (approximately 9 cups) whole wheat flour, divided (hard white or red wheat if milling your own flour)
56 g. (1/2 cup) flaxseed meal
12 g. (1 Tbsp.) kosher salt
Grease 2 regular size loaf pans for tall loaves, or 3 regular size loaf pans for shorter loaves. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat the water and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warm to the touch. Assemble the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel bowl, dough roller and scraper.
Add the warmed water/milk, eggs, olive oil, honey and yeast. Mix on medium speed (3 o’clock) until combined. Add in half the flour and the flaxseed meal, mix in on low speed. Pull the arm towards the center of the bowl, as needed, to help mix the ingredients together.
With the machine running on low speed (1-2 o’clock) add in the remaining flour, minus 113 grams (1 cup), and the salt. Pull the arm towards the center of the bowl, as needed, to help mix the ingredients together. Once the flour is incorporated, check the consistency of the dough. It should be soft and slightly sticky. If too wet, gradually add remaining flour until desired consistency is achieved.
Lock the arm in place about 1 inch from the edge of the bowl. Set timer for 8 minutes and let knead on medium speed (3 o’clock).
Once dough has kneaded, form into a ball and cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half (or thirds). Pat each portion into a rectangle approximately the length of the loaf pan. Starting at the long end nearest you, roll into a tight cylinder. If needed, gently squeeze into a uniform shape with your hands. Place seam side down in prepared loaf pans.
Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Adjust racks to lower part of oven.
Bake bread in lower part of oven for 40-45 minutes (or 30-35 minutes for 3 loaves), rotating halfway through. If possible, check the internal temperature of the bread with a meat or kitchen thermometer. Bread is done at around 200º F.
Let loaves cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and allow to finish cooling.
Yield: 2 tall loaves or 3 short loaves
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
456 g (1 pound) raw green pumpkin seeds
2 g. (1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
45 g. (3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.) neutral flavored oil, divided
28-56 g. (1-2 Tbsp.) honey, optional
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spread out pumpkin seeds on a half sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Pumpkin seeds should be beginning to brown, taste roasted (even the ones still green in color) and smell fragrant when done.
Let cool for approximately 10 minutes and then place in blender along with salt and 3 Tbsp. oil. If sweetness is desired, add in the honey. Blend on the highest speed for 10-20 seconds at a time, pulsing and then turning off machine and stirring ingredients around in blender. Continue to do this until seed butter begins to form. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute to make sure pumpkin seed butter is smooth. If mixture is not fully coming together add remaining teaspoon of oil.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Yield: 2 cups