Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Who doesn't love warm homemade bread? No one that I know, that's for sure. My usual hesitation with making bread in the bread maker is that the bread is only delicious for a few hours, but the next day or so it becomes too airy and not as good, I would never use it for sandwiches. I found this recipe on the back of the Gold Medal Flour package and it's very good. I even will use it for making a sandwich. My whole family loves it. After dinner one night E ate 3 whole slices as his dessert. It's also very good as toast. On cooler days when my house is too cold to raise dough very well I will sometimes take the dough out to the car and use that as a proofing box, it works wonderfully; and sometimes if its too cold outside I will use a space heater to heat up my closet and put the dough in there to proof. I'm still want to but am too nervous to try making real whole wheat bread without any white flour. When I do attempt it and it works I'll post that recipe too.
When I made 1 large and 3 small loaves I put the smaller ones in with the big loaf after 20 minutes cooking and they came out great.

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. very warm water
4 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 4 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In large bowl, mix honey, butter, salt and very warm water; cool 5 minutes.

To cooled honey mixture, beat in 3 c. of the whole wheat flour with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl frequently, until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast. With spoon, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 c. of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.

Place dough on floured work surface. Knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 c. all-purpose flour; continue kneading 5 to 10 minutes 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 loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Generously grease 2 (8X4 or 9X5 inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with rolling pin into 18X8 inch rectangle. Starting with one 8 inch side, roll up dough tightly, pressing with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal; pinch ends to seal. Fold ends under loaf; place seam side down in pan. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375. Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350; 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.

Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each)

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