Wheat Bran Cereal, Raisin Bran Cereal, Bran Muffins of every flavour…. Wheat Bran is famous for it’s health benefits, but the recipes it’s used in most often aren’t necessarily things you normally eat or want to eat, or maybe you’re looking for additional ways to add more bran to your diet. I mean, why not. It helps you poop and has other benefits that modern medicine is, as usual, finally catching up on what lay people have known for a long time.
In my last bread recipe, Easy Multigrain+ Bread, I’d expounded on the wonders of the dough enhancer I’d come across. The price caused me to drop that specific product pretty quick, but there’s a component to dough enhancers that’s lower cost and works just fine on it’s own: vital wheat gluten, also known as just wheat gluten, or gluten flour. Used at a rate of 1 tablespoon per cup of non-white flours, this mostly wheat protein additive helps with texture and rise when you’re using less, or no, white flours. 100% white flour breads need no help with rise and texture, they’re light and fluffy and soft. 100% whole wheat or multigrain breads can be a bit more dense and heavy than you might prefer.
Back to the wheat bran, which is considerably lower cost, and much higher fibre, than any of the multigrain cereals available, I bought some to try out. I’d never been big on bran muffins so other than eating raisin bran, I didn’t have a lot of experience with it. While working on inputting this recipe and getting the nutrition facts, I noticed that the multigrain recipe I linked has about half the fibre that this recipe does.
Something you might not realize unless you’re familiar with diabetes or have another reason to really count carbs, is that every gram of fibre knocks off 1g of carbs. So the ~10g of fibre in 2 slices of bread (which are ~54g carbs), actually ends up being net ~44g carbs. Score! So wheat bran is definitely going to be a mainstay in all my sandwich loaves from now on.
And no one had a clue I’d done anything different!
Wheat Bran Yeast Bread
- 8" x 4" loaf pans
- 3 cups water about 110°f
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup white sugar
- 3 cup white flour all purpose or bread, see notes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup wheat bran see notes
- 5 tbsp vital wheat gluten or 1 tbsp per cup non-white flour, see notes
- 3-4 cups whole wheat flour see instructions and notes
- In counter top mixer bowl or regular mixing bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar and 3 cups flour.
- Once foamy, after about 5 minutes, add the salt, olive oil, wheat bran, wheat gluten and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.
- Knead in (by hand or mixer) enough of the extra 1 cup whole wheat flour that the dough remains slightly sticky while pulling away from the bowl and not sticking to your hands if you keep working the dough. Hand knead 8-10 minutes or in mixer 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic (stretches when gently pulled instead of just tearing).
- Knead into a smooth bowl and place in a large mixing bowl sprayed with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap if you live in a dry climate or a tea towel if you're in a humid climate. Let rise in slightly warmed oven, or warm, draft free place, until double, about 1 hour.
- One doubled, remove cover and punch down. Let rest while you grease and flour loaf pans. Divide the dough into 3 even portions and shape each into a loaf. Place in loaf pans, and then place each side by side in oven and cover with tea towel.
- Once risen to about 1" above the edge of the pans (or to desired height), about 30-45 minutes, remove from oven and then preheat oven to 350°f.
- When the oven comes to temperature, return pans back to the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove immediately from pans and cool on wired rack.
- For super soft crust, place in paper bags when the bread is just a little warm and wait until the next day to use. Pat any condensation away with a clean tea towel or paper towel. For a little sturdier crust, let cool completely then place in plastic or other bags.