Oh hey, everyone!
Remember how I said I was going to post more cooking related posts??? Well that continues today!
I don’t know about you, but I love wheat bread! I prefer it to white any day. My dad won’t touch it. I don’t understand his taste buds…
So to get on with it… This recipe is for a basic honey wheat sandwich bread and makes two loaves. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf. Adapted from here.
Add the yeast to the water and allow it to activate. This should take 5-10 minutes. It’ll be all foamy when its ready. Add the milk and honey to that.
Mix in the bread flour and salt, then add the whole wheat flour. You’ll get a ‘shaggy’ looking dough. Allow that to rest for about 20 minutes. Whole wheat flour is a bit more difficult to work with versus normal flour, so letting it rest gives it time to absorb more liquid and creates and easier to work with dough.
Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean counter top and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough until its smooth and springs back if you poke it. You can add a bit more flour at this point if the dough is sticky. This should take about 10 minutes.
Put a bit of oil in a bowl and roll your ball of dough in it a bit until its covered.
Okay, guys. Feel very special right now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret I learned in my college cooking class… It is now time to let your dough rise in a ‘warm dry place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.’ Go ahead and do that if you would like… but if you’re like me… you don’t want to wait that long until you can eat your tasty home made bread! I know how to cut that time in half. Seriously.
Wouldn’t you like to know how to do that?? Okay fine I’ll spit it out already! When you begin the recipe, put a layer of water in a shallow dish. ( I use a pie tin from store bought pie crust.) Place that pan on the lowest rack in your oven and turn the oven on preheat and set it on warm or the lowest temperature it has. We do not want the oven the get hot… just warm. The shallow pan of water also makes it humid in the oven.
So go ahead and cover your oily bowl of dough with a clean towel and put it in your humid oven. Now wait a half hour to 45 minutes or until your dough had doubled in size. Boom. You’re welcome.
Look at that lovely quickly risen dough! Now turn it out onto a lightly floured counter top again.
Now is the time to divide the dough into two. Unless, of course, you divided the recipe in half.
Create two (or one) loaves. Press the dough down into as much as a square as you can. Then fold the dough, a third over and then another third, and roll into a loaf. The top needs to be tight. Place the seam side down in an oiled loaf pan.
Let rise (either in your ‘humid over for 15-20 minutes, or in a warm dry place for 30 to 40 minutes.) When they are done rising, score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Bake in an oven preheated to 425, but as soon as you put the loaf in the oven, turn it down to 375. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Its done when the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool completely before you cut it!
The loaves will stay good at room temperature for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. Happy baking!