Before Carrie Vitt could see over countertops, she learned to cook by following her mother around the kitchen. By the time she was eight, she was preparing complete meals, and as a teen, she worked at her mom’s busy catering company in Dallas, Texas. When health problems drove her to embrace organic, whole foods, she refused to give up her family’s delicious food legacy and adapted the recipes to healthier ingredients. So many people wanted to know how she did it that she started her Deliciously Organic blog and eventually wrote the cookbook, Deliciously Organic.
Carrie’s recipe for this 100% Whole Wheat Bread calls for coconut oil, which conventional wisdom says is high in saturated fat and therefore should be avoided. When I expressed that concern, she pointed out that there is increasing evidence that coconut oil has many redeeming health properties: It has high antimicrobial properties, is quickly used for energy, and contributes to the health of the immune system. She suggests reviewing the information and links at www.coconutoil.com.
Alternately, this recipe can be made with butter (choose organic from grass-fed cows — it contains good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and lineolic acid). Or, you can omit the fat altogether and this bread will still turn out great.
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- ⅓ cup coconut oil or organic butter (optional)
- 2½ cups warm water (not above 120°F)
- 7 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1½ tablespoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Melt the coconut oil or butter (if using) over low heat in a small saucepan. In a large bowl stir melted fat, warm water, 3 cups flour, honey and yeast. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm, draft-free area for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position. Uncover the bowl with the flour mixture in it and add remaining 4 cups flour and sea salt. Stir until just combined and then pour mixture onto a floured, flat surface.
- Knead the dough for one minute (if the dough is a bit sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour). Cut the dough in half. Roll first half to a 12x9-inch (approximate) rectangle and then it roll up to form a loaf. Place the loaf seam side down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with second half of dough.
- After both pieces of loaves are formed, place a clean dish towel over the loaves and let them rise again in a warm, draft-free area for about 30 minutes or until they double in size.
- After dough has risen, remove towel and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Another way to tell if the bread is ready is to thump the bread with your finger. If it makes a hollow sound, the bread is ready. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.