Whole Wheat Bread

By Debra Gendro

As many of you know from studying nutrition, whole grains have many health benefits. I have a delicious recipe for Whole Wheat Bread that I am going to share with you. Not only that, but I will explain why grinding your wheat fresh at the time of bread making is so much more nutritious. I buy 50 pounds of wheat kernels at a time. Wheat stores well because of its protective jacket which seals in freshness and seals out both oxygen and bacteria. The protective jacket is actually the bran and if it remains unbroken, wheat can be stored for years. I have invested in a good quality mill to grind the kernels.

Grain begins to deteriorate as soon as its protective hull is cracked. Bran makes up about 15 percent of the entire kernel and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and protein. Inside is the endosperm which contains the stored food that a sprout uses when it germinates. This makes up about 85 percent of the total kernel and is rich in carbohydrates and gluten. The third part of the kernel is the wheat germ. It is a miniature wheat plant rich in oil and vitamins. It remains dormant as long as the protective jacket of bran seals it from outside influences. As soon as a miller cracks the bran, wheat flour begins to self destruct three different ways.

  • First, Wheat germ oil becomes rancid. Since the wheat germ contains most of the of the oil in a wheat kernel, it is the first part to turn rancid, which gives the entire batch of flour an "old" taste. The bread can also have a flat taste. Enzymes, such as amylase, convert starches into sugar as a wheat seed germinates. Usually the growing seed uses up these sugars as fast as they are available. However, in flour the sugars are not used up and they quickly turn rancid. This spoilage makes the flour taste flat at first and then bitter. Most people have grown accustomed to bread that tastes flat and have never experienced the flavor difference of fresh flour.

  • Secondly, wheat flour grows moldy. If fresh flour remains uncovered at room temperature, it can become contaminated within twenty-four hours. Bacteria and mold grow rapidly in the rich flour of whole wheat and give off toxic wastes which have a foul smell. Normally the tough protective jacket of bran which surrounds each wheat kernel seals out bacteria and mold. Once wheat kernels are milled into flour, bacteria goes to work to contaminate the entire mix.

  • Thirdly, and to me the most important is that wheat vitamins oxidize after milling. Whole wheat bread is one of the few foods which has an entire complement of B vitamins and is rich in vitamin E. Breaking the protective layer of bran which surrounds a kernel of wheat exposes these vitamins and minerals to oxygen. Oxygen breaks down the chemicals which make up a vitamin and converts them into useless compounds. This process begins immediately upon milling. Clinical tests reveal that virtually all of the vitamins stored inside a wheat kernel become oxidized within seventy-two hours.

It is so much more nutritious to grind ones own wheat instead of purchasing ground flour. Ground flour without the germ of the wheat which contains the oil, and the outer covering which contains the fiber, can be stored for longer periods of time without its turning rancid. The flour's ability to be stored is at the expense of removing about twenty-five vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The germ is one of the richest sources of vitamin E, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin A and for general vitality. The germ also contains vitamin B and high-quality proteins used in the body for vital processes.

The recipe I have uses a bread maker and it turns out wonderfully. If one wanted to bake bread the old fashioned way, the same recipe can be used. I have tried it this way also. If you notice, the recipe calls for soy lecithin and Vitamin C tabs. These two are my secret ingredients to make the bread soft and fluffy. I hope some of you will try this delicious recipe and enjoy it!

Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread - 2 lb. loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup honey
1 ½ tablespoons butter/oil
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon soy lecithin granules
1 crushed Vitamin C (500 mg.) tablet.
Add in given ingredients to bread maker.
Automatic Bread Program –
Press Select to 4 cups (2 lb.) Whole Grain
After baking, press STOP/RESET. Remove bread from Bread Machine and baking pan. Cool on rack.

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