This bread is made from six simple ingredients, with only home-ground, whole wheat flour. In this instructable, I'll show you how to bake the dough into sandwich bread, Dutch oven pull-apart rolls, and focaccia loaves.
When I first got a wheat grinder, none of my favorite standby recipes (all no-knead) worked anymore. Home-ground wheat isn't the same as store bought. Even the stuff labeled 100% whole wheat has usually been processed or altered in some way to extend the shelf life.
Despite the learning curve, it was worth it. Freshly ground wheat has a sweet, clean flavor. It's fun. And, I found out, with a little kneading, it's possible to make a great bread with simple ingredients. Many sandwich bread recipes have milk or eggs, but I developed this with more shelf-stable ingredients I can always have on hand. For this bread, all you need is:
2 cups tap water
1/3 cup sugar (brown sugar, white sugar, or honey all work great)
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil (canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, melted butter...whatever you fancy)
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of home ground white whole wheat flour, or about 1 lb 10 oz (more detail on this is up next)
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
First, you'll need a way to grind wheat. Wheat grinders are fairly expensive. I own a Wondermill, which as of this writing, costs $220 on Amazon. I really like baking bread, but wheat grinders can also turn popcorn kernels into cornmeal, lentils into lentil flour, and so on. It's been more than worth the investment for me. I've heard of people trying to use high-power blenders, but these don't get the same fine consistency as a mill. Home mills are a bit noisy (like a vacuum cleaner), but fast and efficient. For the past seven or eight years, mine has been happily turning eight cups of wheat berries into heaps of flour in just a few minutes. If you're looking into getting a mill, I encourage you to do plenty of research to see what meets your needs.
When grinding wheat, follow the directions for your mill. I highly prefer the hard white wheat I've pictured here. Most of the time, at least in the USA, when you run across anything labeled "whole wheat", it's made from hard red wheat. This wheat has that nutty, strong flavor. Hard white wheat is nutritionally equivalent to its red cousin, but much more mild-tasting.
Finding wheat berries in your area may take some Googling. I live close to a Winco, which sells 25lb bags of non-GMO hard white wheat berries for ten dollars and some change. Other stores with bulk food sections may offer hard white wheat berries as well. If they're not available in large bags, it may be worth it to talk to a manager and see if you can special order your own bags and get a further discount. There are online providers as well, but shipping costs makes this less economical.