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Please note that this bread recipe has been revamped several times, most lately 7/12/16, so you might want to check to see if you have the most updated version in your files.
This poor bread recipe has been through the wringer for most of its life. I first posted a recipe that rose great…but was not fermented long enough. #embarrassing. Then I worked and worked and worked and came up with a recipe that was properly fermented and rose decently…but it had big holes in the middle. Always. #embarrassing. Then I gave you a version that only had little holes in a few middle pieces. #stillembarassing
Through the process of making a cookbook and doing tons of cooking and baking in the last year, I’ve learned a few things above alternative baking. And I came up with a hypothesis about why this bread recipe always had holes: it didn’t have enough protein to give it the structure it was lacking because of the fermentation of the flour. So I added more egg whites, made a few other minor changes, and I now have an amazing bread recipe that rises as high as the homemade bread we used to make pre-THM. NO HOLES!! I am super excited. And this version crisps better in the toaster, too!
I’m satisfied. I have bread to eat that is kind to my waistline (and is cheap – no sprouted flour required!). And despite the instructions and fermentation time, this bread is actually really easy to make, especially when you’ve done it once or twice and know what comes next.
This bread can be used for sandwiches, French toast, and what have you, but I always just eat it as toast. I often make this cinnamon cranberry version that’s amazing with some low-fat cream cheese (even my non-THM dad likes it!):
This bread recipe is Trim Healthy Mama approved (you can click here for my quick synopsis of the plan). Wheat flour, while a spiker of blood sugar if used straight up, is fine when fermented through prolonged yeast action. The fermentation process breaks down the carbs in the wheat flour to a state that is kinder to your blood sugar. Instead of messing with a sourdough starter, instant yeast makes the job easier. Let it do its work for 7 days in the fridge – easy peasy and no bowls cluttering up your kitchen counter.
As for the 7 days – that is the number I have settled on for myself personally as I feel it gives me a full ferment. That is the number I have tested this recipe with. If you don’t feel 7 days is necessary, that is up to you. Some sources say that as little as 3 days is sufficient. I want to err on the side of safety this time, though, so 7 is my number.
This bread dough is a result of much research and experimentation and is a delicate balance of ingredients.
Please note that this bread recipe has been revamped several times, most lately7/12/16, so you might want to check to see if you have the most updated version in your files.
You can find this recipe in my cookbook, Necessary Food.
- 10½ cups whole wheat flour (if not using freshly ground flour, make sure to fluff up the flour before measuring and then level off your measuring cup with a knife in order to avoid getting too much flour)
- 1½ T instant yeast
- 4 cups warm water
- 1⅛ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup water
- 2 T oat flour (I've also used oat fiber with success)
- 1 T baking soda
- 1 T instant yeast*
- 2½ tsp. salt
- 3 doonks THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder (a doonk is 1/32 tsp.)
- ¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ T apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey**
- 1 cup egg whites (the carton variety works great)
- (For the starter) In a plastic bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and warm water. Knead the ingredients together with your hands. The dough will be fairly stiff, but your object is to just get all the flour wet with the yeast water. Set the lid on the bowl but do not seal; let it sit out for two hours at least, and more doesn't hurt. Cover your dough (I just use a Tupperware bowl with lid, and yes, I seal the lid when refrigerating) and refrigerate for 7 days.
- The day that you want to make your bread, get your fermented dough out at least 4 hours in advance, preferably more. I usually get mine out early in the morning and make bread in the afternoon. This allows the dough to warm to room temperature. After your dough is room temperature, you are ready to make your bread.
- First, add the oats and water (please note that this is not the normal oat:water ratio for oatmeal) to a nonstick saucepan, cover, and cook until soft.
- Pull your starter into fist-sized pieces and put into your mixer equipped with a dough hook (I use a Bosch mixer which works great). Add the oatmeal, oat flour, baking soda, yeast, salt, stevia, Greek yogurt, vinegar, and honey to the mixer as well and mix until combined and smooth. This can take a little bit since the starter is pretty stiff. Increasing the mixer speed can help things assimilate, and periodically scraping down the sides of the mixer with a spatula can help too. (If your mixer is really struggling with the stiff dough, add a small amount of the egg whites to help it mix. Don't add all the egg whites until the dough/oatmeal mixture is mixed or you will have a mess. Trust me.)
- Add the egg whites and knead the dough in the mixer until everything is completely mixed.
- Divide the dough among three greased bread pans (I just spray my bread pans with a good coat of cooking spray). Use a wet hand to pat the tops of the loaves smooth.
- Bake on the middle oven rack at 325 degrees F (I use metal pans) for 50 minutes. The first time you make the bread, you might want to cut a loaf through right away and check it to make sure it's done. If it's gummy inside, return it to the oven in 5 minute intervals until you're satisfied.
- Turn the bread out onto wire cooling racks and let cool *completely* before cutting so your bread will not crumble.
- For best results, divide the bread into portions that you will be able to eat within 5 days. Keep some in the refrigerator to eat on and store the rest in the freezer, thawing more as needed. The bread has no added fat, so it won't last as long as some breads you may have made before. Yields 3 loaves. Serving size: 2 slices (I cut my loaves into 14 slices each).
**Honey is usually frowned upon for weight loss on the THM plan, but this is a small amount spread out over many servings and the yeast eats up some of the sugars.
This recipe was last updated on July 12th, 2016.
Products I use:
- THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder can be purchased from the Trim Healthy Mama online store.
- Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Instant Yeast
- Bosch Mixer