Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of your whole wheat bread. Following is the recipe given to us by Mrs. Wheeler, the story of whose whole wheat family.
Follow this recipe exactly, not approximately. Mrs. Wheeler never varies it and it never fails.
To use it successfully you must have a bread mixer. The dough is very thin, very sticky and hard to handle. The reason for this is obvious; the bran absorbs the moisture in cooking, hence the dough requires more water than other flours.
Lighten your flour before using; i.e.:handle it twice. It packs too heavy in the bag. Transfer it from bag to other receptacle before measuring. You may sift it and examine the siftings for cleanlinessbut the siftings must be put back into the flour.
Do not fill the bread pans too full. They must not over-flow in the cooking.
Also do not use deep bread tins2 1/2 to 3 in. is deep enough.
Do not cut the bread until the day after it is baked and use a very sharp knife. You can ruin a good loaf by cutting it with a dull knife.
The recipe follows:
Whole Wheat Bread (Mrs. Wheeler)
Dissolve one cake of yeast in one cup of lukewarm water before you do anything else. Set it aside to dissolve. Next combine the following ingredients, being sure to have the water warm enough so that the completed mixture will be lukewarm.
1 level tablespoonful of butter. 2 level tablespoonfuls of salt. 3 level tablespoonfuls of sugar. 1 1/4 cups of milk. 4 cups of lukewarm water.
To this combination add the dissolved yeast. Be sure that the whole thing is lukewarm. Insufficient warmth will ruin the result.
Add now 13 1-3 cups(makes 4 loafs) of whole wheat flour, and turn in a bread mixer for seven minutes. Don’t fail to use a mixer, as this dough is very thin and sticky.
Cover the top of the mixer, and let it stand in a warm place for from four to six hours. If the dough takes six hours to rise it has had insufficient heat either in the mixing or during the rising period, and the bread will probably not turn out as well as it should. The ideal rising period is a trifle over four hours. The dough should rise till it is al-most twice as high in the mixer as at first, the risen dough filling an ordinary sized mixer about two-thirds full.
Divide the dough into three parts, put it in buttered bread pans, and set it aside in a warm place till it rises to the top of the pans. Before rising in the pans the dough will fill each pan a little more than half full, if they be full sized pans. (If small the above makes 4 loaves.) For the dough to rise in the pans should take eighteen to twenty minutes. A good way to get enough warmth to cause this rapid rise of the dough is to light your oven and place the dough near it.
When you put your bread in the over be sure that the oven is very hot. After the bread has been in that heat for five minutes turn the burners lower, to the point which will give what you ordinarily consider a “moderate” oven. Bake for fifty-five or sixty minutes, changing the location of the pans in the oven occasionally so that all sides will bake evenly. On removing from the oven, butter the tops of the loaves, and let them stand to cool. As a result of this method of baking the loaves will have a thick, firm crust, and the bread itself will be light. Don’t cut the bread till the next day, and when you do, use a very sharp knife. In cutting, save the crumbs by sweeping them off the bread-board into a special crock. They can be used for thickening.”
You will note that no mention is made of kneading the bread or forming into loaves. When the dough is sufficiently risen in the mixer, turn the mixer crank a few times, then take the soft dough right in your hands and put it directly into the buttered bread tins which should be hot. Heat is a real factor all the way through.
In just one way the above recipe varies and that is the time for cooking. Sometimes the bread may need an hour and a quarter or even an hour and a half, depending on your oven. Test it with a straw and listen for the absence of sound before removing from oven.
The appearance of the loaf is flat and brown almost like a fruit cake.
Put raisins into a loaf. It will be much like fruit cake.
If you have failed in your locality to procure 100 per cent flour, use the kind which is on the market (80 per cent) plus a little bran (about a tablespoonful to each pound), plus one or two cups of graham. With this mixture, however, you cannot use above recipe. It will require more flour. The dough must not be so thin and sticky as above and yet must be considerably softer than a white flour dough.
Persist until you secure 100 per cent flour.
Plain Whole Wheat Muffins 2 cups whole wheat flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 rounding teaspoonful baking powder teaspoonful salt 1 1/4 cups sour milk level teaspoonful baking soda 1 egg 1 tablespoonful butter (melted)
Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, add the milk, then the melted butter, then the dry ingredients. Beat well and bake in 12 greased gem tins 17 to 20 minutes. Very hot oven first 5 minutes, then moderate.
If sweet milk is used omit the soda and use two heaping teaspoonfuls of baking powder.
Chopped raisins or dates can be added to this recipe.
Whole Wheat Fruit Muffins(Mrs. Wheeler) (One Dozen) cup brown sugar 1 cup of butter or 3 1/2 cup of sawtay 2 eggs 1/4 cup of milk cup chopped raisins and dates 2 cups of whole wheat flour 2 level teaspoonfuls of baking powder level teaspoonful each of cloves, salt, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
1st. Cream the butter and sugar. 2nd. Add the beaten eggs. 3rd. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them. 4th. Put in the milk.
Bake in muffin tins for about 35 minutes. Have the oven very hot for the first five minutes. After that use a moderate oven.”
Old-Fashioned Nut Loaf 3/4cups of whole wheat flour 4 rounding teaspoonfuls of baking powder 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoonful salt 1 cup chopped nuts 1 cup chopped raisins 1 egg 2 cups of milk 1 tablespoonful butter.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; beat the egg, stir in the milk; into this stir the dry ingredients, add the nuts and raisins last. Let stand in warm place for 20 minutes and bake in moderate oven for 50 minutes. This also, like plain bread, sometimes takes longer to cook. Test it with straw. Unless dry it is not done. It may take 1 1/3 hours.
For Date Bread use 1 1/2 cups dates instead of nuts and raisins for 1 cup dates and 1cups nuts.
Date Gems 2 eggs pound dates 1 cup milk 1 1/2 cups flour 2 teaspoonfuls baking powder teaspoonful salt.
Beat the yolks ; add the milk, the flour and beat until smooth ; add the baking powder and the dates, chopped. Mix thoroughly. Bake in twelve greased gem pans, in a quick oven 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Chopped raisins may be substituted for dates.
Whole Wheat Crackers (Unleavened whole wheat bread)
Mix 1 pint of milk with 1 pint of water. Rub into 1 quart of flour, two tablespoonfuls of butter; add gradually the milk and water. You must have a hard, almost dry dough. Knead this dough for fifteen minutes, then pound it with a hatchet or ordinary beefsteak pounder, folding it over, enveloping the air. Cut the dough into quarters; roll each piece just as thin as possible. Cut into rounds or squares, lay them in a lightly greased pan, and bake in a moderate oven until crisp and slightly brown. The only thing to be remembered is that the dough must be very hard and must be well manipulated.
Whole Wheat Waffles(Mrs. Wheeler) 3 cups of whole wheat flour 2 cups of milk 2 eggs 3 level teaspoonfuls of baking powder 1 level teaspoonful of salt 1 tablespoonful of melted butter.
1st. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. 2nd. Add the milk. 3rd. Add the eggs, well beaten. 4th. Mix thoroughly, and bake on a hot wale iron.
Southern Corn Pone 2 cups sour milk teaspoonful salt (level) teaspoonful baking powder 1 tablespoonful melted butter 2 cups coarse corn meal.
Mix salt and meal, add melted butter. Dissolve soda in milk and stir into meal. Stir well. Make small oblong “pones” about 1 inch thick.
Place in greased pan and bake until brown.
Johnny Cake 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup corn meal 1/3 cup sugar 1 rounding teaspoonful baking powder teaspoonful salt 1 1/4 cup sour milk level teaspoonful baking soda 1 egg 1 tablespoonful butter (melted).
Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, add the milk, then the melted butter, then the dry ingredients. Beat well and bake in greased shallow tin 17 to 20 minutes. Very hot oven first 5 minutes, then moderate.
The above may be baked in gem tins if desired.
Any good recipe you may have for muffins, etc., can be used substituting whole wheat for white flour; using a little less of the whole wheat (slack cupfuls).
Whole Wheat Pie Crust (Mrs. Wheeler)
The following recipe makes top and bottom crust for two pies. 3 cups of whole wheat flour of a teaspoonful of salt of a teaspoonful of baking powder of a cup of butter and sawtay, or any good shortening 9 tablespoonfuls of cold water.
Whole wheat pie crust is more brittle than that made with white flour, and is therefore difficult to roll into a single sheet. It tastes equally good, however, when cut into strips.
Whole Wheat Flour to Thicken Gravy (Mrs. Wheeler)
Put one cup of whole wheat flour in a dry skillet; stir continually over a fire till it is brown. Add this to the juice of the roast, with the amount of water necessary to give it a satisfactory consistency. Add a pinch of salt. This use of the whole wheat flour gives a gravy of much more delicious flavor than can be made with white flour.