Saturday, October 31, 2009

Basic Whole Wheat Bread

This was my fifth attempt at making bread. I was getting so frustrated. Each time I failed, I told myself that was the last time, but for some reason the idea of having fresh homemade bread kept coming back to haunt me. After failing so many times, I found myself actually liking bread that did not rise properly, that chewy unrisen dough actually tastes pretty good. At least all my failed attempts didn't go to waste, I would pop it in the toaster for breakfast (I know I'm weird). I remember when I was a kid, my family owned a bread maker. I only recalled them making bread once and it turned out HORRIBLE (probably why that was their first and last attempt). They were going to throw the bread in the trash, but I begged them to keep it so I could eat it. Another time, when I was 9 years old, my family took a vacation to Canada. The hotel we stayed at had excellent breakfast food, especially their French bread. The waitress told my parents that she was only going to charge $5 for me since I was such a little girl and wouldn't be able to eat that much. Little did she know I ate 2 loaves of French bread myself. I sure got my money's worth. Anyways, I love bread, there is nothing better than fresh homemade bread right out of the oven.

I pretty much think this recipe is fail proof. I got it off of and decided to try it because all the other reviewers commented on how easy the recipe was. Indeed it was easy. Its a basic whole wheat bread that tastes great with any sort of sandwiches. I let it rise in the oven because I'm impatient and after 4 failed attempts, I wanted faster results, but I think letting it rise in room temperature would have given the bread a better texture.

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

1. 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.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.


Chinkybebe said...

Hey~ I don't know If you've even been to 2941... It's a restaurant in VA. If I remember correctly after you eat there and are about to leave there are loaves of bread that you can take home. They're really yummy. ^_^


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