Impromptu Easy Whole Wheat Bread
Not my best loaf, but it worked! AND it was still yummy. This one was an impromptu loaf tossed together at the last minute, a product of my “waste not, want not” teachings and my ability to think on the fly. We need to get more adept at doing these things for our families as more and more products might become scarce or expensive in our grocery stores and local markets. We won’t want to waste what we DO have in our pantries.
Let me say, too, someone will invariably point out that I used garbanzo flour with my whole wheat flour, and will insist I can't call my loaf WHOLE WHEAT because of it. That may be a technicality to consider, however, this loaf can easily be made with or without that ingredient. I am actually thinking ahead to those who might need a very simple, basic recipe to use. Now that we have cleared that up, HERE is how it happened:
Jim was mixing up a batch of Korean pancake batter for brunch, and accidentally added too much water. From where I was sitting, trying to type, I could hear the batter sloshing in the bowl and was about to say something when he spoke first. I told him not to worry, that I could fix it! I have this “thing” where I will do whatever I can to fix ANYTHING!
If I CAN, that is.
I popped into the kitchen, grabbed the bowl he was using, and poured out about half of the very runny batter into a smaller bowl for him to mix up the Korean pancakes. SOME people might just pour the leftovers down the drain or into the trash. But that would be wasteful! Plus, my brain had automatically switched into gear when I first heard that sloshing, and from my chair to our kitchen, I realized I had TWO choices –
1) I could try and make it into a sourdough starter, or 2) I could whip up a quick loaf of simple bread!
I easily ruled out #1 when I wiggled the spatula around in the bowl, though. I could smell that Jim had already added the sesame oil and soy sauce to the batter – which means it would not work for sourdough starter. So, a loaf of bread it is!
I scraped all that extra batter into the mixer bowl for the Kitchenaid, then added a little scoop of garbanzo bean flour I had created in my new Pampered Chef Deluxe Cooking Blender the day before. I wanted this addition to increase the protein content a little. Then I added more whole wheat flour (about 4 cups), some salt and sugar, 1 pkt of instant yeast, and let it mix! Once it was done mixing in all the ingredients, I made sure to have the mixer knead for about 6 minutes to release a good amount of gluten! Then, shaped it into a loaf, tossed it into a bread pan, let it rise (covered) for about 4 hours or so, and cooked it for dinner.
I will say, I needed to lower the temperature at least 10 degrees and add a little to the cooking time because of our higher elevation. It cooked too quickly on the outside, and the crust is very dark and crispy. The inside was just about perfect. Next loaf I will make the needed adjustments. It smelled wonderfully coming from the oven, and was delicious with our salads and chicken for dinner. We even had it the next morning for grilled cheese sandwiches, and one more meal for Jim as hamburgers!
I won't waste the great blessings Yahweh has given us, especially since we have seen our share of lean times. Tossing the batter in the trash or down the drain was not an option for me. We need to gear our hearts and minds up to this type of thinking more and more – like our grandparents, great grandparents, or for some of you really young ones, your great-great grandparents! They didn’t call themselves “Preppers” – they didn’t need a title. They simply called themselves wise enough to know better.
And they did know better – to be prepared and preserve food for lean times.
-- Judith Garton
My Simple Bread Recipe
This one is about as easy as it gets!
5-7 Cups of whole wheat flour (OR OPTIONAL: 4-6 Cups whole wheat and 1 Cup finely ground Garbanzo bean flour)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
1 pkt. Instant Yeast (I use Fleishman’s or Kroger)
2 Tbsp oil (I normally use EVOO)
2 to 2.75 Cups warm water (approx. 110 degrees)
To the mixer bowl, add about 6 cups of flour, and any dry ingredients (yeast, salt and sugar, if using sugar). Mix together gently (Low setting), to fully distribute dry ingredients. Add in the oil and 2 1/2 cups of water (if using honey instead of sugar, add this now, too). Mix together until all the flour appears mixed in. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water, only 1 Tbsp at a time. If the dough is too moist, add a sprinkle of flour. You want the dough to be slightly sticky.
Knead the dough in the mixer for 6-8 additional minutes, until soft and elastic. Dough should be slightly sticky. Grease your loaf pan, then remove dough from mixer bowl. Form into a loaf and place in prepared pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled, 1-4 hours.
Bake in 350 oven for approx.. 1 hour, until loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the top. For my elevation of 3400 ft above sea level, we need to lower the temperature 10 degrees or so and bake a little longer. Making that note for those who might need this information.
When done, remove from oven and brush the top with butter. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve!
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Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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