Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Honey White Whole Wheat Bread
Who doesn’t love bread? I know I do. And the only thing that makes it better, is if it’s FRESH homemade bread. With my first loaf of homemade bread, I don’t know if he just wasn’t in a sandwich mood or what, but The Boy didn’t eat any of it! I thought it was great, and managed to eat most of it, and freeze the rest to use as toast with breakfast. But this bread, I’m proud to say, “The Boy Approves”. In fact, he told me multiple times how good it was! (Though probably not as many times as I proclaimed it’s greatness.)
I love that this recipe ONLY uses whole wheat flour. If you’ve never used WHITE whole wheat flour, it is less “nutty” flavored than regular whole wheat flour. I did a lot of searching before I landed on this specific recipe. A lot them called for ingredients I’d never heard of, and definitely didn’t have on hand. But as long as you’ve got the yeast, you’ve most likely got everything needed for this recipe.
The recipe calls for 5 Tablespoons of either honey, molasses, or maple syrup. At the time, I only had a little bit of honey, a little bit of molasses, and a lot of maple syrup. Flavor-wise I was more inclined to a honey or molasses flavor than I was maple syrup. So, I used 2 Tablespoons honey, 2 Tablespoons molasses, and 1 Tablespoon maple syrup. I only did this because
I’m a total weirdo I wanted to use up the ingredients I had. As a tip, if you measure out and add the oil first, the honey (or molasses or syrup) will slide right off the measuring spoon.
Also, the recipe called for 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, and a 1/4 cup walnuts. I decided instead of the walnuts, I’d chop up pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I think, that while this bread would still taste great without the sunflower seeds or pepitas, they definitely stepped it up in both flavor and texture. The seeds made this bread taste a lot like the expensive healthy bread I sometimes buy at the store, but for a fraction of the price. You could skip this, but I really think it’s one of the best parts.
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but this bread was actually very moist & soft! I could definitely taste the essence of the honey & molasses. It makes yummy sandwiches and really great toast. Especially if you’ve got some of my grandma’s apple jelly to slather on it!!
I urge you, if you’ve toyed with the idea of making homemade bread, but haven’t taken the plunge, try this out. Especially if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer. It was so easy to whip up. Even if you don’t have a stand mixer, this is still a simple, straightforward recipe, you could easily knead by hand. And it’s whole wheat!
Honey White Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
from King Arthur's Flour
Yield: 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons honey, molasses or maple syrup
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon King Arthur Whole-Grain Bread Improver, optional
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, chopped*
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped* (I subbed 1/4 cup pepitas)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
*A quick whirl in the food processor does the job nicely.
To prepare the dough: Combine all of the ingredients, and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then knead till fairly smooth. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, shape it into a log (to understand how to do this, refer to step 4 of this recipe, or check out Deb's photos), and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, till it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 20 minutes of baking.