100% Pure Love

This is the 100th Vintage Victuals post!!!

In celebration of this momentous occasion, dear readers, I am happy to share with you a fantastic recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I’m also pleased to announce my very first VV Giveaway!!

The recipe in this post comes from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks – packed with vintage recipes, of course! It’s the Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, and you can win this cookbook from Vintage Victuals! The Jesuits have a special place in my heart, as I am, in fact, the product of a Jesuit college education. You may recognize this book from earlier posts on Vintage Victuals.

This is a great resource full of tried-and-true bread recipes that one Jesuit priest gathered from Jesuits around the world through the course of his career as a Jesuit cook. It is also chock full of great breadmaking tips and cute stories about the origins and stories that each recipe brings to the writer’s mind. It reminds me a lot of what I love best about cooking and baking – the stories and families that come together around food.

To win this cookbook, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question: What is your favorite family recipe or traditional dish?

Your comment must be posted by Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 11:59 PM EDT. One winner will be randomly chosen by Random.org’s Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Monday, March 23, 2009. Good luck!

Whole Wheat Bread 1

Now back to the recipe! This is the whole wheat bread of my DREAMS. Soft, moist, dense, and hearty. Nutty and malty but mild and ever-so-slightly sweet. It toasts up perfectly with a pad of butter and a drizzle of honey. It also makes for an unbelievable turkey sandwich. Chalk up another one for the Jesuits!

100% Whole Wheat Bread
from the The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 cups 100% whole wheat flour (recommended: King Arthur)

Whole Wheat Bread 2

First, make the “sponge.” In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Next, stir in the oil, the honey, the molasses, and the salt. Gradually stir in about 2 1/2 cups of the flour. The dough will be wet and soupy, but a bit spongy. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the sponge ferment for 1 hour.

Next, stir down the sponge, breaking all the bubbles up with a wooden spoon. Using an electric mixer, beat the sponge for 10 minutes, gradually adding about 2 more cups of the flour. The dough should become very thick and tacky, and it should begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. The dough will be heavier than regular white-floured doughs. Knead for at least 8-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent stickiness. It should feel smooth and elastic.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the kneaded dough into the bowl, turning it to coat the dough on all sides with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for at least 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft-free place. The dough will double in size.

Meanwhile, grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. When dough has risen, punch it down gently. Divide the dough in half and shape each into loaves. Place them into the prepared pans. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 40 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. When loaves have cooled completely, then you can slice them up and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bread 3

Editorial Note: Sadly, all of the amazing comments that my readers left on this post were lost when my blog crashed. If you would like to share your favorite recipes here, please feel free to do so. I am enjoying the process of restoring all my old content to this space, but I am so very saddened to have lost all of the heartfelt feedback and thoughtful comments from my dear readers!

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