6 Hearty and Healthy Yeast Bread Recipes

You can’t beat fresh homemade bread or the intoxicating smells that fill your kitchen while it’s baking. Even better? When your warm and flavorful loaf is also really healthy for you. Carbs have a notoriously bad reputation, but these 6 recipes prove that a flavorful loaf of bread can provide you with a healthy dose of whole wheat, fiber, and protein. Which bread recipe are you going to try first?

Source: iStock

1. Seeded Multigrain Boule

EatingWell‘s recipe uses whole wheat, seeds, and grains in this high-fiber, nutty-flavored bread. Something to keep in mind when you’re baking: a wide-bottomed pot will spread the loaf out, causing it to be fairly flat, while a taller, narrower one will cause the bread to be thicker and have more height. This recipe contains 198 calories per slice, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup uncooked long-grain brown rice, preferably brown basmati
  • 2½ cups whole-wheat flour, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more as needed
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 4 tablespoons roasted pepitas, or sunflower seeds, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseeds, preferably golden, divided
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons table salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons instant, quick-rising or bread-machine yeast
  • 2½ cups ice water, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons clover honey, or other mild honey
  • 2 tablespoons liquid egg substitute, or 1 beaten egg white, for glazing

Directions: To mix the dough, grind rice in a blender or coffee mill (a food processor won’t work) until mostly powdery but with some fine bits remaining. Transfer to a 6-quart (or larger) bowl. Thoroughly stir in 2½ cups whole-wheat flour, 2 cups bread flour, oats, wheat germ, 2 tablespoons each pepitas (or sunflower seeds), flaxseeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds, then the salt and yeast.

Thoroughly whisk 2½ cups ice water and honey in a medium bowl. Vigorously stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. The dough should be moist and somewhat sticky, but fairly stiff. (The seeds will absorb moisture, stiffening the dough as it stands.) If the mixture is too dry, stir in just enough additional ice water to facilitate mixing, but don’t overmoisten. If the dough is too wet, stir in just enough bread flour to stiffen slightly. Lightly coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

First rise: Let the dough rise at room temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, stir once partway through the rise. For convenience (and improved flavor), you may refrigerate the dough for 3 to 12 hours before starting the first rise. Second rise: Generously coat a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven (or similar ovenproof pot) with oil. Coat the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour. Vigorously stir the dough to deflate it. If it is soft, stir in just enough flour to yield a firm but moist dough (it should be fairly hard to stir).

Transfer the dough to the pot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour over the dough; pat and smooth it in. Firmly tuck the sides underneath all the way around to form a round ball of dough; dust with more flour as needed. Brush the loaf with egg substitute (or egg white) and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons pepitas (or sunflower seeds) and 1 tablespoon each flaxseeds, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds over the top (it will be heavily coated). Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut two ½-inch-deep concentric circles in the top of the loaf, one about 2½ inches out from the center, the other 3½ inches out. Put the lid on the pot or tightly cover with foil.

Let rise at warm room temperature until the dough is double the deflated size, 1¼ to 2¼ hours. Twenty minutes before baking the bread, position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees. Lightly spritz or sprinkle the loaf with water. Bake, covered, on the lower rack until the top is lightly browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 204 to 206 degrees Fahrenheit), 15 to 25 minutes longer. Cool in the pot on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out on the rack and let cool to at least warm before slicing.

Source: iStock

2. Crusty Whole Wheat Italian Bread

This Food.com recipe brings you a delicious whole-wheat Italian bread. The recipe yields 16 servings, with each containing 92.4 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, and 2.9 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar or 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ cups bread flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet

Directions: If using a bread machine, add all ingredients except cornmeal to bread machine pan in the order recommended by your machine’s manufacturer. Select dough cycle and start machine. For the conventional method, in a large bowl, dissolve yeast, brown sugar, and ginger in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes until yeast foams. Add salt and bread flour; beat well. Stir in whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead 10 minutes or until dough is springy, smooth, and satiny.

Wash bowl, grease it, and add dough to bowl; turn over to grease top. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. For shaping and baking, lightly oil or grease a 14-by-17-inch baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal; set aside. Punch down the dough. Divide in half and, on a lightly floured surface, shape into long loaves, rolling each piece first into a 5-by-12-inch rectangle, then rolling each up along the long side to make a long, narrow loaf. Pinch edges to seal, and taper ends.

Place loaves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Make 4 to 5 slashes across each loaf with sharp knife or razor blade. Brush each loaf with water and sprinkle with whole wheat flour. Bake in a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until loaves are browned and crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. (Note: You can use a spray bottle filled with water and spray the loaves and oven walls once or twice at 5-minute intervals at the beginning of baking.) You could also make this into one large oblong loaf or a round loaf, but baking time would need to be increased.

Source: iStock

3. Granola Bread

Whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, and granola create a filling and nutritious load of bread. Serious Eats‘ recipe yields 10 servings, and contains 270 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein in each.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut in 6 pieces, or vegetable oil (1¾ ounces)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) traditional whole-wheat flour
  • ⅔ cup (2¼ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) prepared granola
  • 1 cup (4¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons (1⅜ ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) nonfat dry milk
  • Heaping ½ cup (1¼ ounces) instant potato flakes, or 3 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Directions: Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead them (by hand, mixer, or bread machine) until you have a soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it’s quite puffy, but not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Lightly grease an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover it gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise till it’s crowned about 1½ to 2 inches over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Near the end of the bread’s rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uncover and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 minutes. The bread is done when it’s golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove it from the oven and after a minute or so turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired; this will keep the crust soft. Cool the bread for 30 minutes before cutting it.

Source: iStock

4. Wheat and Flax Bread

You can’t go wrong with Betty Crocker‘s recipe for wheat and flax bread. It’s filled with good-for-you ingredients, including whole wheat, oats, flaxseed, and honey, which work together to create a wholesome and flavorful loaf. There are 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein in one slice of this delectable bread.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
  • 1¾ to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package regular active or fast-acting dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • Additional butter or margarine, melted, if desired

Directions: In 1-quart saucepan, heat milk, water, and 1 tablespoon softened butter over medium heat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (butter will not melt). In large bowl, mix 1½ cups of the all-purpose flour, the salt, and yeast. Add milk mixture and honey. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in whole wheat flour, oats, flaxseed, and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make dough easy to handle.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and springy. Grease medium bowl with shortening or cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 1 to 1 ½ hours or until double in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Grease bottom and sides of 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Roll up rectangle tightly, beginning at 8-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal; fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Cover and let rise in warm place 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Uncover loaf. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Brush top of loaf with melted butter. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Looking for a French bread recipe that incorporates a few more whole grains? MomsDish.com has created just that! It is perfect for sandwiches, as a side to soup or salad, or by itself if you’re craving a warm, fresh piece of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oatmeal
  • 2 cups Canadian white flour (Note: You can use all-purpose flour instead, but may need to adjust the amount. Add the flour in small portions to control the consistency.)
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast

Directions: Soak oats with half of the water (see ingredients), for 15 minutes. Combine milk with yeast; let it sit for a minute or so. Mix in the remaining water, honey, oil, salt, and oats. In a separate bowl, combine wheat and white flour. In small portions, mix in the flour. If you are using a mixer, use a dough hook; mix on a low speed until the dough is fully mixed. Mix on a medium speed for 2 minutes. Dough should clear the sides, but stick to the bottom. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer on again and mix for 3 minutes.

When cycle is completed, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1½ hours. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a rectangle. Roll it up into a jelly-roll style, beginning with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper; place loafs side by side. Sprinkle with some flour and cover; let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. With an oiled, sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Using a pastry brush, brush tops with water. Sprinkle the loaf with oats. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: iStock

6. Maple Oat Bread

AllRecipes.com‘s maple oat bread is hearty, sweet, and a little bit spicy. If you’re hoping to add a few more ingredients to this recipe, try raisins or chopped nuts, which will add even more flavor to this tasty loaf. There are 162 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, 2.7 grams of fiber, and 4.8 grams of protein in each slice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour, or as needed
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 (¼-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats

Directions: In a large bowl, stir together the spelt flour, whole wheat flour, oats, yeast, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Combine the oil, warm water, and ¼ cup maple syrup; stir into the flour mixture. When the dough is stiff enough, turn out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. Knead in more flour if necessary to keep the dough from being sticky. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover, and set in a warm place to rise until double in size.

Punch down dough and form into a tight ball by folding the sides into the center. The tighter the ball, the more it will rise instead of just spreading. Place on a greased baking sheet with the seam underneath. Let rise for 20 minutes, or until your finger leaves a dent when you poke it gently. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Brush over the top of the loaf, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of oats. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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