Friday, May 27, 2011

Homemade Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Another item on my “to-do” list is homemade bread.  Since I was making soup, I decided to make fresh bread to go with it!  I found a simple recipe on King Arthur Flour to try.
I gathered my ingredients – pretty straightforward.  I didn’t have dry milk, so I substituted ½ cup of milk (room temperature) for ½ cup of water.

I stirred together all of the ingredients – this was difficult, and I ended up doing a lot of it by hand.  It didn’t seem to affect the bread at all J

Once the dough was fairly well mixed, I kneaded it on a greased wooden cutting board for 8 minutes.  No pictures of this, but boy were my arms tired!
I placed the ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl and covered with a towel, then let it sit for 1 hour.

It puffed up quite a bit – though hard to tell from this picture.  I should note my kitchen was very warm.

I then shaped the dough into a log and placed it into a greased loafed pan.  I covered the pan loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let it sit for another 1 ½ hours.

At this point, the dough had puffed up quite a bit! 
I baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, then removed it to a wire rack to cool.  I also rubbed the top crust with butter.

Once it was completely cooled, I sliced it and topped it with a honey butter (recipe to come later!) and ate it with my vegetable soup.  This was a great, simple recipe for my first time trying bread, and I’m excited to bake more kinds of yeast bread in the future!

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
½ cup lukewarm water (minus 2 tbsp)
½ cup nonfat milk, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 heaping tablespoons honey
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 packet active dry yeast, dissolved in 2 tbsp of the ½ cup water
1 ½ tsp salt

·         In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until combined.
·         Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 8 minutes,
·         Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow the dough to rise about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
·         Shape the dough into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9” x 5" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan.
·         Preheat the oven to 350°F.
·         Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.
·         Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust.
·         Cool completely before slicing.
·         Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

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