t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Teddy Bear Bread and Whole Grain Bread Recipe

Who can resist a warm loaf of "Teddy Bear Bread." This one is armless. The possibilities are endless. I know some people despise wheat and gluten in the health food world but I still faithfully make bread every week and family devours it.

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe (Makes 6 Loaves)

Combine in Bosch (or similar) Mixer:
8 cups White Whole Wheat Flour* (Or any combination of wheat, kamut and spelt)
3 T Yeast

6 cups Warm, almost hot, Water

Mix, until a paste-like consistency. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

2 heaping T Vital Wheat Gluten**
6 T raw apple cider vinegar ***
2 T Real Salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (optional)
1/2 - 1 ½ cups Honey (adjust to your families taste, we like 1 cup)

Turn mixer on to speed 1. Add whole-wheat flour until dough just begins to pull away from the sides of the mixer. (Usually around 5-9 cups) The dough will still be fairly sticky. Mix on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes. Cover mixer to prevent dough from climbing out of the bowl.

Grease pans, with real butter. Butter your hands and form dough into 6 loaves, kneading several times. Place into pans. Cover and let rise until they have doubled in size. This will take anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on the temperature of the room. In the summer it is great to let them rise outside.

Place pans in a cold oven. Turn oven on to 350°. Bread will cook 25-38 minutes depending on your oven. When bread tops are golden brown remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Butter tops of bread. Remove from pans and continue to let loaves cool on racks.

When cool, put loaves in bread bags and freeze immediately what you will not eat in the next day or two. Do not store in the fridge. Bread stays very fresh in the freezer for quite a while.

*I use the hard white wheat also called “Golden 86.” It has the same high protein content as the red wheat but has a lighter color and a less bitter flavor. (Grocery stores also have this type of flour bagged if you don’t have your own grinder. However, I think the freshly ground wheat has a nicer flavor.) Grind your wheat to the finest texture your machine will allow. I usually use almost exactly a #10 can size of wheat. Sometimes there is a cup or two of flour left over.

**Gluten is available at the Bosch Kitchen Store, and some health food stores. Gluten makes your bread less crumbly. Gluten also increases the nutrition of your bread adding protein. Do not add this if your family has a gluten sensitivity.

***The acid helps prevent the bread from going stale and softens the texture.

www.waltonfeed.com This is a great place to buy wheat and other nutritious whole grains like spelt and kamut.

I haven't posted this recipe for awhile, and I am always tweaking it. Lately I am drastically decreasing the oil and honey. Trying to make it a bit more nutritious. I also removed the potato flakes. Only because they had more additives and preservatives than I was comfortable with. I am ultra fussy. You know that by now though! But add a cup or so if you like, they do add fluff!


EmJay said...

I need your help shaping my loaves. My bread always has a big crease at the bottom of it.

Jessica said...

Excited to try this recipe next week~ can't wait. The teddy bears are too cute.

Ashley said...

Bec that sounds really good. The only problem I've had with my bread is that it sometimes it's a bit doughy in the middle and I have no way of knowing that until we're halfway through the loaf. I remember you mentioning you used some kind of thermometer to help with that. WHat's it called and where did you find it?

Kevin, Christi, Wade and Max Kotter said...

Could you be any cuter!?!?!? I love it! I cannot wait to make this recipe for my little teady bear! :) Thanks!!!

Jo Lynn said...

Yeah, can't wait to try it out! Love the teddy bear, super cute! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!

Sara said...

Thank you so much for posting your wheat bread recipe. Mike went all over looking for Kamut and Spelt just so that I could make your bread. I guess I am out of excuses and must make it right away. Only problem is I have to half it because I only have a kitchen aid...until I can prove to myself that I will faithfully make it...then Bosch here we come. Sorry to hear that your running had to come to a temporary halt. I never got passed 22 weeks of preg for running if that makes you feel any better. Hang in there...I hear P90X is a great workout!!1

Rebecca said...

So Ashley I used to use a thermometer and I loved it! It worked perfectly. However, after only 2 months it broke. This was very frustrating to me. But then I learned a great trick, no thermometer necessary:

Tap on the top. When the loaf sounds hollow, it is done. Works excellent every time!

rockgirl said...

I have made this recipe, halved a number of times and the bread always comes out flat. It tastes fine and we eat it, but it doesn't raise at all after I mix it. I have tested my yeast and checked the temp of the water, but it still is not fluffy. Any clue what I am doing wrong?

Rebecca said...

Try leaving out the applesauce. It makes the dough very temperamental. You could increase the oil to 2/3 cup.

You could also try using only the wheat flour. The other two grains can be more difficult to work with. Try adding them in small amounts as you get more used to the dough. Please let me know if it doesn't work and I will try and help you trouble shoot some more!

rockgirl said...

Well, I haven't been using the applesauce and it is only whole wheat flour. I can try the oil but I'm not sure that would make any difference. Btw, did you use a mold for the bear or form it by hand?

Rebecca said...

Hmmm, that is so weird. Is your bread rising in the pans before you put it in the oven?

I just form the teddy bear by hand. Just pull off 4 little balls for arms and legs, 1 for muzzle, a bigger ball for the head and then 2 little balls for ears. It is super easy.

rockgirl said...

The bread is not rising after I put it in the pans. I know the yeast works, I have used it in other recipes and I tested it just to be sure. It sponges, though not as well as I'd like