honey whole wheat bread

gorgeous organic dahlias from the UCSC farm

For most of the summer I have been dreaming about baking a loaf of whole grain, nutty bread.  For some reason or another I never got the chance….until now.  For one thing, the preparation that goes into making a loaf of bread is time consuming. Let’s just say that three hours after you start preparing the dough, the bread is ready. I was beginning to believe that store bought bread is the way to go. That is until I took a bite of the homemade, fresh, hot bread with honey-butter slathered on it. Heaven.

 
Honey Whole Wheat Bread (recipe from Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour bag)
2 packages regular active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
4 1/2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

Add honey, butter, salt, 2 1/2 cups very warm water and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently.

Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
With spoon, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.

On lightly floured surface, knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour; continue kneading 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Generously grease 2 (8×4- or 9×5-inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. Shape dough into loaves; place in pans. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375°F. Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Makes 2 loaves (16 slices each)

This bread was totally worth three hours of my time…but who am I kidding. Summer school had just ended and I “kneaded” something to keep me busy. Wow. That wasn’t cheezy at all…Enjoy!

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