Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread? It's hard to beat! I've tried a good handful (or two) of bread recipes over the years - and the challenge always seems to come down to texture. I can really bite into a hearty rustic bread, but what we need for day to day consumption is something soft yet firm, that can be sliced well for sandwiches and toast. I came across this simple whole wheat recipe on the internet and eventually adjusted it to suite our taste perfectly. Do you have a tried and true bread recipe that you use every time? Or do you switch it up?
You can sweeten the dough with any honey, but if you use Orange Blossom honey - which is local to us - your bread will come out with a highly fragrant ( even a tinge if jasmine) scent. It works charmingly as a breakfast toast with coffee. When I plan to use the bread for sandwhiches, I tend to use a less fragrant honey - such as Wildflower. In the picture, I threw in some rolled oats - any nuts or seeds can be tossed in as well. Enjoy!
You will need :
> 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) > 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast > 1/3 cup honey > 5 cups bread flour > 3 tablespoons butter, melted > 1/3 cup honey >1 tablespoon salt > 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour > 2 tablespoons butter, melted or coconut oil
- In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
- Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
- Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely