Healthy Whole Wheat Bread
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water (approximately 115 degrees F)
1 3/4 cups warm water (approximately 115 degrees F)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
2 tablespoons flax seed
2 tablespoons cracked wheat
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons Chia seed gel, optional
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bread flour
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until mixture bubbles and is creamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 3/4 cups warm water, honey, oil, egg, and lemon juice; mix well using paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast mixture. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of the whole wheat flour, beating well to blend in after each addition. Stir in the flax, cracked wheat, sunflower seeds, and Chia seed gel, if using. Let mixture stand for 20 minutes.
Using the dough hook, blend in the remaining 1 cup whole wheat flour, salt and the bread flour, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then place in an oiled bowl, turning the dough so that the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and shape into two round balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Form into loaves and place into two oiled 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake in preheated 375 degree F oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Brush tops of baked loaves with melted butter.
This bread is made from both whole wheat flour and bread flour along with flax, sunflower seeds, and cracked wheat. I was not able to find the cracked wheat in my local stores, so I used the whole grain wheat and gave it a few spins in the food processor.
Punch the dough down, and shape into two round balls; cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Dividing the dough so that the loaves will be a uniform size can be tricky. An easy way to make every loaf the same size is to use digital scales to weigh the pieces of dough.