Sunday, September 19, 2010

Honey of a Whole Wheat Bread

I can't even remember where I found this recipe, but it's one of my very favorites for whole wheat bread. I've tried other recipes and always end up coming back to this one. This is good when it just comes out of the oven with butter and honey on it, or great for toast in the mornings!!  Nothing like homemade bread!!

Honey of a Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 1/2 to 4 cups white bread flour (or all purpose flour)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
6 Teaspoons vital wheat gluten (this is optional)
1 Tablespoon salt
2 packages yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup honey
3 Tablespoons butter
1 egg

In large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, wheat gluten, and salt together. In another small bowl add the lukewarm water (110 degrees, not any warmer) then add the yeast and the tablespoon of sugar, whisk together and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the milk and honey, when hot, remove from heat and add the butter, stir together so the butter starts to melt. Let this cool, it's important it's not hot when adding to the rest of the ingredients or it will kill the yeast, I put mine in the fridge or set the pan in a little cold water in the sink until it's luke warm.
When yeast is all bubbly, and the milk mixture is at room temperature, add to flour mixture along with the egg. Mix a low speed until combined, then turn mixer speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Next, turn mixer speed back to low and gradually add in the rest of the wheat flour and enough white flour to make a firm dough (or add this stirring by hand if you don't have a big heavy duty mixer). Let continue mixing for 5 more minutes, or knead by hand for 5 minutes if you don't have a big mixer.
In a large mixing bowl, spread a little olive oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray, place dough in this, and turn over so top has oil on it. Cover with a cloth and let raise for about an hour, or until double in size.
Grease two loaf pans.
When dough is double in size, punch down and knead a time or two on floured surface. Divide dough into two pieces and shape into a loaf and place in loaf pan. Cover with towel, and let raise another 1//2 hour or so till the dough is barely domed over the top of the pan. **See hint below.
Heat oven to 375 and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Let cool on baking rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and brush the entire outside of the loaves with butter.

**I always seem to have a hard time getting wheat dough to raise very fast. So I create proof box, by heating my oven to the lowest temperature possible then turn it off. I bring a pot of water to a boil and then set that in the oven. I leave the door open just a few seconds so most of the hot heat leaves, then I stick my dough pans in and let raise with the oven door shut. This just seems to keep the dough warm and moist and it seems to raise quicker. We had a proof box at the bakery I worked at that we let the bread raise in. BUT remember to remove the dough before heating the oven up to 375.

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