January 31, 2010

We Have Bread....

and it really wasn't that hard to make. There were a few little bumps in the road along the way, but in the end it turned out beautifully. I first made it sometime in the nineties and only a few times thereafter. Over the years, hubby has gently and frequently reminded me that I haven't made "that really good bread" in quite some time. Truthfully, I was scared to make it. It had been a long time and I'd lost confidence in my bread-making ability. Once started, the first rising took quite a bit longer than the recipe stated but eventually it doubled in size. I used the "proof" setting on my range (100 degrees) since our inside temperature is quite chilly. The next step was to punch it down, divide the dough between two baking pans, and leave it to rise for an additional thirty minutes. See how puffy and pretty that's looking? This is where the road got bumpy. Hubby came home from his trip, we started talking, and I didn't check on the dough for another hour or so. A lot of rising happens in the span of an hour. I opened the oven door, immediately started stuffing the overflowing dough back into the pans, and hoped for the best. This is what the finished loaves will look like if you do that:

But you know what? I'm a firm believer that beauty definitely comes from within. And that was the case here. Once sliced, I kind of liked the little ruffles on top. This bread is very heavy, dense and moist :: almost chewy. If you decide to try it, I'd love to know what you think.

Honey Wheat Bread


2 packages dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1 egg

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)

3 cups whole wheat flour

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg and next 5 ingredients. Add whole wheat flour; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a stiff dough.


Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic (I used my mixer and dough hook for this step). Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in bulk.


Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape into two loaves. Place in well-greased loaf pans, cover, and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Uncover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped (shielding loves with aluminum foil to prevent over browning if necessary). Remove bread from pans and let cool. Yields 2 loaves.