Recently I was chatting with Ben about ideas for this whole grain baking series and he asked, “Why eat whole grains?  What makes them better?”  An excellent question to be sure, for anyone learning to eat more clean, whole foods.  There are many sources to explain this in much greater depth than I will here but essentially, a whole grain includes all three parts of a grain’s kernel.  As a result, whole grains have more protein, fiber and vitamins than refined grains such as white flour.  These characteristics mean that whole grains provide numerous health benefits.  For more information on whole grains and their benefits, the Whole Grains Council is a fantastic online resource.  (Side note – I’m totally pumped that my beloved popcorn is a whole grain.  Just be sure to use butter and salt sparingly to keep it a smart snack.)

When I started this series, I asked what recipes you would like to see and a great many of you enthusiastically requested a good whole wheat sandwich bread.  There are countless variations out there, and many I plan to try, but this is the first that you need to know about.  This, my friends, is a fantastic quick and easy 100% whole wheat sandwich bread.

Now, if you are relatively new to bread making you may be thinking I’m nuts for calling this recipe quick.  However, as bread recipes go, this really is about as quick and easy as it gets.  Throw all the ingredients into the bowl at the same time, mix up the dough, and let it rise.  No sponge, nothing fancy – you don’t even have to proof the yeast.  So yes, this may take about three to four hours from start to finish but only about 15 minutes of that is active.  The free time while the dough rises is glorious, and one of my most favorite things about bread making…rivaled only by the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.  Play with the kids, read, knit, or all of the above – that’s what I do :)

King Arthur Flour has provided several great giveaways over the course of this series, and today we are giving away an awesome bread pan plus a flour coupon.  Head on over to the giveaway page to enter!  Also, be sure to check out King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking book and their website for tons more well developed and well tested whole grain recipes.