Bread runs in my Genes…well that AND food storage!

My sweet, lovely grandmother passed away last week. She was known for her bread making. And why not? She made awesome bread AND since she had 12 kids she made 30 loaves a week by hand. Her kids (and kids’ friends) loved to help her make bread. She loved whole wheat bread and hated white bread. Honestly, she was a huge reason why I wanted to learn how to make bread-I knew it was somewhere in my genes to be able to do it! I realize this may all sound sappy-so I appreciate you allowing me to dedicate this post to my grandmother. It ended up being very serendipitous that I was able to talk about bread making on Studio 5 a few days before she passed. If you missed it-here it is. You’ll be able to see the REAL difference between a bread made with OUT any dough enhancers and bread made with dough enhancers. Plus, you’ll learn how to make your own natural dough enhancers out of items you probably have in your kitchen!

You can also enter to win a new Bosch mixer HERE!

WHAT is a dough enhancer? A dough enhancer is a natural product used to make a better bread product. It will make your bread beautiful, light, fluffy, and delicious. Commercially, most breads use this product and you will see the biggest difference if you use a dough enhancer in your whole wheat bread because the whole wheat flour is heavy and course unlike all-purpose flour.

When you buy a dough enhancer from a store it has basically four key ingredients. Gluten, acid, starch, and sugar (of course they are called other things but that is what they are). Those four ingredients serve key roles in developing a better bread texture by developing and strengthening the bubbles that make your bread.

1. Gluten: is the natural protein found in wheat. You can think of it as the elastic in the balloon.
2. Acid: strengthens the balloon so that it doesn’t pop too early (if it pops too early your bread falls, very bad.)
3. Starch: adds an extra layer to your balloon so it won’t break or pop-think of it like the additive they add to helium balloons to last longer. And when you’re dealing with whole wheat the flour, remember, is course and can pop or weaken the gluten.
4. Sugar: this is what the yeast eats. When it eats the sugar it creates the air that fills the balloon or bubbles.
Now you don’t have to buy a commercial dough enhancer to get the same results. You can make your own natural dough enhancer out of things you probably have around your house. All you need is gluten, WHITE vinegar for your acid, and potato flakes or instant mashed potatoes (NOT GEMS) for the starch, and sugar which your bread recipe will already call for.

Tips for using your own everyday items as dough enhancers in WHEAT BREAD:

Gluten: use 1/2 T. – 1 T. per cup of flour (this means before you measure a cup of flour place the 1/2 T.-1 T. gluten in the bottom of your cup and then measure flour as usual)
WHITE Vinegar: use the same amount of vinegar that you are using for yeast (i.e. 1 t. yeast – 1 t. vinegar)
Potato Flakes: use 1/8 to 1/4 C. per loaf of bread you are making, experiment to see what works best in your recipe. (do not substitute in potato pearls, they don’t dissolve as easily and are artificially flavored which you will be able to taste in your bread)

EZ Wheat Bread recipe
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever combination white/wheat you like..I use 100% hard white wheat. To learn more about the different types of wheat, download my wheat handout)
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

You can also enter to win a new Bosch mixer HERE!

© 2011, Crystal. All rights reserved.

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  • Nanniereese

    That was a sweet dedication to your Grandmother and she was a very nice looking woman! Also, with 12 kids and making 30 loaves of bread by HAND!, I should never complain about any work I do in the kitchen. You are a very lucky granddaughter to been able to have learn from her wisdom and hard work. I’m really sorry for your lost. Grandmothers are super special in their granddaughters lifes.

  • Kelly

    My sympathies on the loss of your grandmother. I still miss mine and they died 12 and 24 years ago.

  • Wise2btlee

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother – I remember making applesauce cookies with mine- but never got the recipe from her- wish I could find a good one- would love to make them with my granddaughter-

  • Donnella

    Your grandmother was a beautiful lady, I know you’ll miss her. Thanks for all the knowledge you’re sharing. You’ve taken copious amounts of overwhelming information and condensed it, making it fun and doable.

  • 1930sgirl

    Crystal, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother looks like such a sweet lady. Actually, my mother looks so much like her, except with blonde hair. Bless you and your family.:)

  • Kristin

    I am so excited to try this recipe! Can I subsitute the nonfat non instant milk powder with instant? Also I canned some nonfat instant milk a few months ago and now I am wondering if it will have the same shelf life as the nonfat non instant milk powder. What do you think?

  • http://never-without.blogspot.com MMW

    Did your grandma serve a mission (as a senior)? She looks sooo familiar I can’t help but think I knew her.

  • Cassie

    Crystal, I saw you on Studio 5 and signed up to take your 10 Day Challenge. I bought a hand wheat grinder like 8 years ago and never got it out of the box. I thought it would be a good oportunity to try it out and attempted to make your EZ Wheat bread. After three attempts, I know that I’ve definately got something wrong. (Not one loaf would raise out of the pan. They resembled more of a quick bread.) So I decided to go for something a little easier and do the Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. I just pulled them out of the oven and they ran all over! I’m getting a little frustrated with wheat flour to say the least. Could it be that my hand grinder just isn’t getting the wheat fine enough? Is a better grinder the problem, or am I just hopeless? I’ve considered myself a pretty fair roll maker in the past, and thought I would be able to master the bread after a couple attempts, but honestly, after grinding the wheat all by hand, I’m ready to throw in the towel. Any advice for me???

  • Anonymous

    Yes, she did! In Washington.

  • Anonymous

    It could be. Hand wheat grinders aren’t known for grinding wheat really
    fine like you would want. See if you can borrow a friends electric and see
    if it changes things.

  • Katesue

    I’d like to share this video with a friend, but I can’t seem to figure out how to share just the video. I can’t see any buttons and when I try to share the post it doesn’t look like the video is part of it.

  • Robin Swenson

    Dear Crystal,
    I am sorry for your loss. Grandmothers are special people. May your memories of her always bring you joy.
    With warm regards,
    Robin

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much Crystal for this great post! My grandmother passed away a few years ago and I still have her recipe for Portuguese Sweet Bread and I think of her when we make it.

    Yesterday I tried your whole wheat bread recipe and I can’t thank you enough for making this available to us! I blogged about my experience and posted pictures on my blog (http://myfoodstoragejourney.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/the-best-whole-wheat-bread-recipe). Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about baking the bread in a Sun Oven!

    I do have one question, what do you use for “nonfat non instant dry milk”. I can’t seem to find anything that matches that description exactly. I ended up using Morning Moo’s from Augason Farms.

  • Scraphappy4ever

    I lost my grandma recently too.  I really miss her.  Hope to see her again one day.  

    The dough enhancer segment is great.  You explained it to where I finally understand!  I hope I can find gluten at Walmart here in Alabama.  I’ll have to get some white wheat too!

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