I've been experimenting with whole wheat bread recipes in our breadmaker.
Now, I was resistant to the idea of a breadmaker. Ten years ago I borrowed one from a friend to see if I wanted to get my own, and found that no, actually what I wanted was a Kitchenaid. So I bought a Kitchenaid and never considered a breadmaker again.
Then our neighbors moved away and gave us their breadmaker. It sat, unused, on a shelf for over a year before I took it to San Luis Obispo so I could have fresh bread there without buying another mixer (though I can see the value in two Kitchenaids, believe me, I had already bought enough duplicate home appliances).
I had a fine high-protein white bread recipe I used for a long time, one that I adapted to not require powdered milk (I hate adding processed foods to my recipes, and powdered milk always tastes sour to me). Then this fall my doctor suggested I cut out white flour and sugar from my diet, or at least cut them down to a minimum. My main source of such refined carbohydrates is bread, so I was in a quandry. I know I will not keep a diet that does not allow me to have bread, but do I want to suffer through finding a decent bread recipe that works?
Which is silly. Before the last hundred years, practically nobody had white flour or sugar, and they all ate really well. There must be both good whole-grain bread recipes and whole-grain cake recipes out there.
Unfortunately, most whole-grain bread recipes for the bread machine suck. People take all the fat out of them to make them "heart-healthy" and that ruins the flavour. So I took a whole wheat bread recipe and made some changes, made a batch, made more changes, and now I have a recipe I like. Here it is:
Whole Wheat Bread
(makes a nominal 1 1/2-pound loaf)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
DON'T just add the ingredients to the breadmaker.
First, scald your milk then cool it down so it won't cook the egg. Should you be afraid of scalding milk, just put it in a pan and warm it up on the stove and don't worry about getting it just right; you do not want to put cold milk into this recipe, though. Then you can follow the bread machine's instructions and add everything to the pan. Set the cycle to WHOLE WHEAT.
This makes a nice loaf that's not too sweet, and yet without the bitterness that whole wheat bread can get, also without that heaviness that whole wheat bread uncut by white flour can have (though some would argue that adding gluten is just like adding white flour). It toasts nicely, and is just fine with peanut butter in the morning.