Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Bread
If you go to an average supermarket like Ito-Yokado in Japan, what you see most at the bread section is likely to be white bread and whole wheat breads are more expensive than white breads. It seems white breads are “normal” whereas whole wheat ones are considered to be somewhat “special” and healthy eaters without debt, or somewhat rich people, would consume.
Another bread fact in Japan is that bread making machines are hitting the market very well. My mom and my sister each bought one of those on-line and seem to enjoy easy process of making bread at home. I tried some of the breads my mom made and they were delicious. You can make a variety of bread by customizing the flour and other ingredients like butter or nuts. Once you put all the ingredients in the machine, what you have to do it to push the button and come back to meet a new born fresh bread with nice smell. So, basically it seems very easy and helps many moms in Japan.
The fact I touched upon earlier that white whole wheat breads are more expensive than white ones means making white bread in one of those machines is cheaper than making wheat breads. It’s because wheat flour is more expensive than white bread and harder to get in general in Japan. This is why when I see many kinds of whole wheat or whole grain flours or breads are sold here in the U.S. I get very excited.
With this in my mind, I made a loaf of bread with 100% whole wheat flour for the first time in my life! Can you imagine how exciting it is?! For me while living in Japan just two months ago, a loaf of bread especially with whole wheat flour was something I should buy, not something I could imagine making(I don’t own a bread machine). That’s why when this huge, to me at least, square fresh bread came out of my oven, I was so astonished and screamed to myself,”Dekita!” which means “I did(made) it!” in Japanese. Being so dense and heavy with 100% whole wheat, it was utterly healthy and I could be proud of myself for a while just looking at it.
The making process was interesting… I found a recipe for whole wheat bread on a bag of the flour I bought days ago, which urged me to come to the kitchen to make one. However, right after I started cooking, I was very skeptical about the recipe. It said,”Add 4 to 5 cups of whole wheat flour.” That sounded a lot of flour to me! (You know everything in Japan is smaller sized than in the U.S.) (- -;) What sounded even more funny was the instruction used the word: TO. 4 “TO” 5 cups?! How ambiguous!! Why doesn’t it tell me the exact amount like 4 cups? Please don’t leave it up to me(- -…)
Being suspicious, I started cooking. The recipe would make 1 9″X5″(23cmx13cm) loaf of bread. I was afraid that the dough would be much bigger than the sized pan. So,during the first step of the recipe, I almost rebelled at the recipe by changing the amount,,, but I decided to have a faith in that recipe and the company of the flour.
The bread turned out to be just fine as you can see in the picture. My skepticism flew away, meeting the newly made bread by myself. It turned out that I needed 4 to 5 cups of flour to make the dough elastic and the ambiguity of 4 TO 5 cups were explained by the knitting process during which I had to adjust the amount of flour to make the dough just right in it’s softness and moisture.
I thank for the recipe now.