Sunday, January 15, 2012

Homemade Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I have not made bread in ages and ages. In fact it probably has been well over 25 years since I attempted homemade bread. Last weekend our pastor gave us a fresh loaf of wheat bread that he made. It was so delicious toasted with a slathering of butter. The family devoured it in two days. We started talking about trying our hand at making our own. Anthony did ask Pastor John for his bread recipe today but he did mention that it was complicated. I thought maybe starting simple would be the best option. I found a Honey-Whole Wheat Recipe on the back of my Gold Medal bag of Whole Wheat Flour and decided I would whip up a couple of loaves. I will confess that bread making is sort of an all afternoon affair with the mixing, kneading and rising but the house is full of this amazing aroma and I have two loaves to show for my efforts. Since the dough needed to rise in a room that was 80 to 85 degrees we brought up my space heater from my craft room and turned it on in the laundry room. It's nice and toasty in there now and worked perfectly.

On a side note we received a meat grinder for Christmas from Anthony's son Nate who is a chef. We are trying it out for the first time tonight making hamburgers and chicken burgers. It should be very interesting.

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread

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

1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 Generously grease 2 (8x4- or 9x5-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.

5 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.

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