Saturday, March 3, 2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I know...I know...

First I make you make simple syrup for a cocktail. Now you have to deal with yeast and dough rising. I have made some fairly serious cupcakes, cookies and other baked treats, but never yeast bread. There's not a whole lot I'm afraid to try cooking. If it turns out poorly, who's going to know? Bread, though? Every time I considered making it my brain was like, "uuuuuUUUUURRRRRGHH!!! Lady, seriously? Bread is not an, on a whim project like most of yours are! There's the rising...and the resting...and the rising...all this RISING and it still may not come out. Just go to the store and buy a loaf!"

Yeah, well, I guess this is the year where I decide I need to do everything that I previously pretended I wasn't interested in, but secretly was afraid of.

Or really, just 2of the 3 portions of a triathlon and making yeast bread. Oh, and wearing horizontal stripes.

Anyway, I made a special trip to the bigger Whole Foods near me (confession, I was also stalking a bright orange lululemon hoodie at a second location. I NEED it! No luck though.) and when I walked by the baking aisle, I thought, "hmmm...I'll just BUY the yeast and then plan to make something later."

LIES! Anyone who knows me knows that I will barely be able to put the groceries away before I start mixing the dough. Of course, since this was a whim, I had no idea what I needed. I went with the ingredients on the side of the flour bag, which was conveniently NOT the flour I ended up putting in my cart. Duh'oh! This is how I now have a big bag of whole wheat flour, no regular all-purpose flour and two bags of cornmeal. Must find a recipe for cornmeal...

Oh, I also forgot to buy loaf pans. So really, if I can make bread, anyone can.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

originally posted on by Concrete Gardener

Below is the original recipe. Since I had one pan to use and this makes two loaves, I halved it. You can see in the picture that the slices are not very tall, but that's due to me using a bigger pan than normal. It did double it's size during both rises before going into the oven and well as doubling in the oven. I ran out of all purpose flour, used more whole wheat flour and it was fine. I also wasn't exact with the amounts of honey, molasses or salt and it still came out fine. I cooked it for 40 minutes since it seemed a little light after 35. Most suggestions I found online said it should darken and it was better to bake a little longer. It was still really moist and soft when it was done (as well as a day later, today). I tried to be fancy and put some rolled oats on top, but they didn't really stick.

Makes two loaves:

1/4 ounce yeast (or one packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cup warm water (should be 100-110 degrees)
1/4 cup softened butter
1/8 cup (or 2T) molasses 
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Give it about 5 minutes to do it's thing. In another bowl, mix the butter, molasses, honey and salt until well blended. Add to the water and yeast and then gradually add the flour. I dumped the wet ingredients into my kitchenaid (with the dough hook attachment) and slowly added the flour while it was on the "stir" setting. I let it mix for about 5 minutes, until it looked smooth. You can knead by hand if you don't have a mixer in 5-7 minutes. Put it in an oiled bowl for about 2 hours, covered with a towel, until it doubles in size. It works best if it's in a room around 70°, so find a warm area. For me, the only thing even close to 70° is right near the heater.

Oh look at you all tucked in next to the heater...(also, The Husband made the bowl!)

Punch the dough down, let it rest for 5 minutes and then shape into two loaves. Place in oiled loaf pans and let it rise for an hour. Place into a pre-heated 375° oven for 35-40 minutes.