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How do you create a welcoming feeling in your home? One of the ways I love to do this is with the smells and tastes of homemade bread. Enjoy this story and recipe of our favorite homemade 100% whole wheat bread.
This post is more about a story, then a recipe.
And this story goes way way back, before I really understood the importance of home.
It was during the days of dorms, and roommates, and livin’ on my own for the first time. Boy, did I think the freedom was great.
I was living my college dreams at Brigham Young University Idaho and having the time of my life, even with Top Ramen and Cereal as my fuel.
As many good times that were had, there was this particular day that made a lasting impression on my mind. Believe it or not, it was during a class instruction.
I had chosen Family and Consumer Science Secondary Education as my major, because the love of teaching and homemaking was part of my make-up.
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I can’t recall what the name of the class was. I can’t recall who the teacher was. I can’t recall who my classmates were. I’m not even sure I remember what the professor was trying to teach us.
But, I’ll never forget what I learned that day.
When I showed up to class, the professor told us we were going on a little field trip. So we loaded up in vans, and wondered what lied ahead.
We pulled up to this small and simple home, and were greeted by this elderly lady in black leather wiping down her Harley motorcycle. Right away I thought she was the coolest old lady I had ever met.
She welcomed our small class with warm hugs and a cheery disposition, and promptly invited us into her home.
Upon entrance into her cramped but clean surroundings, a wave of the most delicious smell was our warm welcome.
The smell of freshly baked homemade bread.
Instantly, I felt different. Even though I had never met this lady before, I felt as though I had found home.
I realized then, as glorious and fun as dorm life was, there was nothing quite as wonderful as a home with a caregiver to greet you with smiles and nourishing surroundings.
We all proceeded to stand in her kitchen as she shared many slices of freshly baked bread and stories of her life with us. I remember laughter and joy in the faces of my classmates. I remember she spoke of her love of being on the road with her husband and her motorcycle.
And I specifically remember her saying, “Nothing feels quite as nice as coming home to homemade bread”.
Of all the lessons in Food Science, Interior Design, Child Development, and Family Relations, it was this lesson I remember most.
“Nothing feels quite as nice as coming home to homemade bread”.
Now here I am, many years and 4 kids later, relishing in the joy of making homemade bread for my family on a frequent basis.
Oh how I love their reactions as they walk in the door to my strategically timed snack.
They each instinctively close their eyes for a moment and breathe in deeply through their nose. Someone always mutters, “mmmmm. Bread.”
And for a brief moment, I am filled with complete satisfaction in being their caregiver and creating their nourishing surroundings.
I invite you now to give this bread recipe a try! It is 100% whole wheat, moist and delicious. The recipe was shared to me by a sweet long ago neighbor, after she gifted our family a warm loaf of bread in a time of need.
I have since made it regularly for my family and also shared it with friends and neighbors. It’s very simple, especially if you have a mixer with a dough hook.
Thanks for joining me today for my story and recipe, and I’d love to hear if you have any memories around food that you’ll forever remember!
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Coming Home to Homemade Bread
- 3 3/4 cup warm water like a baby’s bath
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3/4 Tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup gluten flour vital wheat gluten
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
- 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 Cups white whole wheat flour or can use some white flour, if you prefer
- Put first 5 ingredients into mixing bowl and use a dough hook to mix together.
- While mixer is running on speed #1, add 4 cups white whole wheat flour, then yeast.
- Continue by adding the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, until dough cleans away from side of bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour or your bread will be crumby.
- Knead on speed #2 for 10 minutes.
- Prepare your surface and hands by sprinkling with flour, or alternatively, spreading with crisco oil.
- Place dough onto surface and let stand for 15-20 minutes.
- Divide dough into 2 equal portions for 2 medium – large size bread pans.
- Knead gently for a couple of minutes and shape into log shape loafs.
- Grease pans and place dough into bread pans.
- Cover with a light towel or paper towels.
- Let sit until double in size.
- Bake loaves in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 26-30 minutes.
- Take bread out of pans when done and cool on a cooling rack. Eat right away or wait 2 hours before cutting and placing in sacks.