This is a recipe that my customers at the farmer's market rave about. It is very moist, despite being made with 100% whole wheat flour. This makes two slightly small (1 lb) loaves of bread. If you are new to bread baking, I suggest you read my recipe "Jane's Challah Bread (Using Food Processor)" for tips. This recipe could be modified for a bread machine, stand mixer, or made by hand. Prep time does not include rising time.
- Proof yeast in warm water.
- Add brown sugar, salt and applesauce to yeast.
- Place flour and wheat gluten into the bowl of a large food processor and process briefly to mix. (Check your food processor manual to make sure your processor is powerful enough to process bread dough and to determine how much flour your processor can handle. If necessary, process this recipe in two batches). I use a 14 cup Cuisinart processor. (Note: vital wheat gluten is available in bulk or boxes at health food stores).
- Add oil to processor and process briefly to mix. .
- Start processor and slowly pour liquid through the feed tube. You may need more or less liquid depending on the type of flour and the humidity. Within about 30 to 60 seconds the mixture should form a ball. If it doesn't, add more water or flour (whichever is necessary) for the dough to form a ball. After the dough forms a ball, process for an additional 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and elastic. Do not overprocess because processing causes the dough to heat up and it might heat up so much that you kill the yeast. When making 100 percent whole wheat bread in my processor, it helps to use a dinner knife to "premix" the dough. Pour the liquid into the bowl (without the processor running) and mix briefly with a dull knife until most of the flour is moistened. Then process as above.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and form into a ball. This is your opportunity to ensure that the dough has the proper ratio of flour to liquid.
- Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat the surface of the dough with the oil. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled.
- Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured board and knead a few times. Cut dough in half and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll half of dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Turn board so long edge of rectangle is facing you. Fold right half over middle and press with fingers to seal. Fold left half over middle (so the "new rectangle" is as wide as your bread pan) and seal. Roll (beginning at narrow side) tightly, pressing as you go with your fingers to seal well. Pinch ends and tuck under loaf.
- Place in a greased loaf pan (8 inches by 4 1/4 inches by 2 1/2 inces). Oil the top of the loaf.
- Cover with a kitchen towel or loose plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled.
- Bake at 325 degrees F until done. This takes about 29 minutes in my oven.
- Turn out and let cool on a rack.