Honey Whole Wheat Bread…

After a long awaited request by Ryan, the honey wheat is here.  I’ve made it countless times because this is my go-to sandwich bread, but I just kept forgetting about posting it.  It started out as a simple whole wheat bread recipe which over time evolved to include different grains, flours, ratios of flours, ways of processing, etc.  I think I’ve got it down to my perfect loaf, until my next experiment ;).

I prefer to use raw honey is it’s available.  I get it at farmer’s markets.  Not only is it unprocessed (which is a big thing to me), but I think it is more flavorful.  Normally I like to make things myself, but keeping a bunch of bees in my backyard sounds like disaster, so I’ll pay for this.

I dedicate every other Saturday morning for bread making.  I make two loaves so that lasts me two weeks.  Plus when it tastes better homemade, why buy it at the store?

A lot of people like to brush melted butter on top their loaves to make the crust soft and (duh) buttery.  However, I like it to be firm, mainly because I use them fore sandwiches during the week.  This is optional and you may like it.

This is the typical result from my recipe.  A nice dense whole wheat loaf due to bread flour.  I like the higher gluten (higher protein) leading to a denser sandwich bread.  But on my last batch, I experimented.  Being out of whole wheat flour, I used a 3:2:2 ratio of whole wheat bread:rye:bread flour.  I must say that it was a good experiment.  The crumb is lighter and more pliable, yet holds its shape well in a sandwich that’s banged around during the day in my backpack.

See the difference?  This one has an evenly textured crumb and it’s also a bit darker.  I took the amount of honey I usually use and split it with honey and molasses.  I also added some flax seeds, cornmeal, and oat bran for texture and nutrition.

I didn’t measure my grains, but I’d guess each were at 1/3 cup.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups warm water (95-110F)
2 T active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
12 oz (3 c) whole wheat bread flour
8 oz (2 c) rye flour
3 T butter, melted
1/3 cup molasses
1 T salt
8 oz (2 c) bread flour (can substitute with regular whole wheat flour)
2 T melted butter (optional)

Add the water, yeast, honey, whole wheat bread flour, and rye flour in a mixer and mix with the paddle attachment for a few minutes until it’s all incorporated.  Lest rest 30 minutes.  You don’t have to proof active dry yeast, just add and go.

Add 3 T butter, molasses, salt, and bread flour.  Knead on medium (or by hand) for  about 10 minutes.  Add more flour (bread or whole wheat regular) as needed so that dough pulls away from bowl.  Place in greased bowl, turn to coat, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Divide into 2 loaves and shape.  Place in loaf pan and let it rise until it tops the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes, or 190F in the center. Brush with butter (optional) and cool.

*next up…Kim Chi…*

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