“What do I do with all of my Hard White Wheat?” This is a question I’ve heard a few times since we started the Food Storage Friday posts. Every book, magazine, blog post, and online discussion talks about how important it is to include a large supply of Hard White or Hard Red Wheat in our Food Storage Pantry’s. For most of us, obtaining the wheat isn’t a problem. Here at Honeyville we offer both Hard White and Hard Red Wheat in our #10 cans, 50 lb bags, and even an organic line. The problem is knowing what to do with that Hard White and Red Wheat once we have it.

We already discussed how to grind our wheat in our “The How’s, What’s, and Why’s of Grinding your Own Grain.” This gives you a great, healthy, whole grain flour that you can use in any baking recipe. But if you’ve tried making any type of bread with your ground Hard White or Red Wheat, you’ve run into the same problem I did. In the words of Marty McFly, Whole Grain flour is “Heavy!” Heavy does not work when it comes to baking bread. Though tasty, most of us are used to a light, fluffy bread loaf.

So how do we avoid eating Bread Biscuits instead of Loafs with our Food Storage Wheat? The answer is Honeyville’s Vital Wheat Gluten! Just a small amount of this amazing product, mixed into your bread dough, can turn that dense, indestructible loaf into a loaf that even the town baker would be jealous of. And one #10 can of Vital Wheat Gluten has a shelf life of 7-10 years! That makes it the perfect accessory to your Hard White and Red Wheat supply in your Food Storage Pantry.

To demonstrate just what you can do with your Hard White Wheat and Vital Wheat Gluten, I’ve put together a super fast, easy, and fun bread recipe that the whole family can participate in making. And the whole thing is baked in an old #10 can! You could call this the ideal Food Storage Bread Loaf!

3 cups Honeyville Hard White Wheat
1 1/4 cup Warm Water
2 Tbps Honeyville Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp Sugar
2 1/4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
1 1/4 tsp Salt

To start, you’re going to want to grind your 3 cups of Honeyville Hard White Wheat.

I used a new electric grinder that should hit our online shelves very soon (stay tuned). You’ll want about 3 cups of finely ground whole wheat flour.

After flour has been ground, begin to activate your yeast. You can do this by dissolving sugar and yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Make sure water is warm, not hot, as this will kill the yeast. The activation process should take about 5 minutes.

See that foam? That means your Yeast is activating!

In a separate bowl, combine Milled Flour, Vital Wheat Gluten, and Salt. Add activated Yeast and an additional 1 cup warm water and mix until dough is soft.

Remove dough and place on a floured surface. Don’t use too much flour, as you don’t want to dry out your dough. Knead until dough has a smooth, elastic texture.

Once dough is smooth, fold into a ball and place in a  large, greased bowl and cover. Let dough rise for about an hour.

After an hour, remove dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Be sure to push out all the air bubbles in the dough, then roll back up in a ball and place in a greased #10 can and cover.

Let dough rise an additional hour in the #10 can.

After an hour, take a peek at your dough. It should be rising just above the top of the can. If it hasn’t, place in a warm space and let rise until the dough is just peeking above the top.

Once dough is finish rising, place a piece of tin foil over the top of the can.

This will keep the top of the loaf from burning before the rest is completely cooked.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll be placing your can directly in the oven, so make sure you move around any oven racks to accommodate for the space before the oven gets too hot. Once oven is at 350 degrees, bake bread in the can for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes are up, remove the foil from the top, bump oven up to 400 degrees, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove can  from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Gently slide loaf out of the can, slice up and serve!

I tried this recipe without the vital wheat gluten and the bread rose to about half the size of this recipe. Just 2 tablespoon’s of vital wheat gluten sure go a long way!

So now, instead of saying “What do I do with all of my Hard White Wheat?” show us what you can do with a few cups of Wheat and a few tablespoon’s of vital wheat gluten!