Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recipe: Graham Bread

I've been hunting down vintage recipes for years now, ever since my mother gave me a copy of "The White House Cookbook, 1888" for Christmas.  One of the things I had always come across in bread making is "Graham Bread" which involved the use of Graham Flour.  Interesting stuff and I knew it didn't involve the use of crushed Graham Crackers but I never devoted myself to figuring out the secret to this type of flour until recently. 

I had found many references to Graham flour as just being an old term for Whole Wheat Flour, and that indeed seemed the case if it wasn't for recipes for Whole Wheat Bread sharing space alongside of recipes for Graham Bread.  The breakthrough came rather recently when I discovered a tidbit about the origins of Graham Flour.  Named after a Presbyterian minister who invented it in the 1800's, his belief was whole wheat was vital to health( not so different than now).  Instead of milling the wheat together he separated the Kernel from the Bran and Germ and milled all separately then recombined them to form Graham flour.  You can still buy it if you look around hard enough, Hogson Mills makes it and King Arthur Flour markets it as Pastry Flour but it's a rather expensive affectation for simple bread making.  I found a better substitute was to use King Arthur Flour's White Whole Wheat, the texture is very similar to Graham Flour.

Graham Bread

1C Warm (110°) Water
2 1/4tsp Yeast
2T Sugar
3/4tsp Salt
1 1/2C White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2C Bread Flour
2T Oil

Combine warm water and yeast and set aside until yeast is bubbly, about 5 mins.  Combine sugar and salt in mixing bowl and sift flours together into a separate bowl.  Add yeast mix to sugar and salt then add 1C flour mixture working in with a spoon, add next cup of flour and mix.  When you can't mix with the spoon anymore start working the dough with your hands.  Add final cup of flour and oil and mix until it's shaggy and comes together.  Dump out on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic about 8-10 mins.  Form dough into a ball, place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  Punch down and knead on floured board for 3 mins to work out large air pockets and form into loaf.  Place in oiled loaf pan and let rise until top of loaf is 2" higher than sides of pan.  Bake in pre-heated 350° oven 30 mins.  When done, turn out of pan and let cool on wire rack before cutting.

The taste is slightly like whole wheat bread and mostly like white bread.  It's a very good recipe because unlike whole wheat flour, the white whole wheat does not affect rising times and doesn't lent the typical sour/bitter taste associated with white bread.  I typically get 15 slices from a loaf but it all depends on how thick/thin you cut it.  This recipe can also be used to make a white bread, simply use all bread flour.

Yield @ 15 Slices

First Commenter:

Sweet Home Designs

1 comment:

  1. Love your site! Really love the vintage feel and the recipes! Thank you ;)


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