Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Easy Honey Wheat Bread

I was set that I was going to make something new today but I didn't want to make cookies...mostly because I wanted to eat all the dough so it was for my own sanity (and healthy diet).  I remembered a loaf of Easy Honey Wheat Bread that sounded good from the The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a... by Kate Payne

I pulled up the recipe and followed the easy directions.  I normally make bread in the bread machine but I had two envelopes of the yeast that wasn't for the bread maker so it seemed like as good a reason as any to try my hand at making bread without the machine.

I put the yeast and the water in the large bowl.  Doesn't look like much right?

I added the dry ingredients in the instructions and I stirred them with a fork.  It was a little lumpy and I was starting to panic that this couldn't possibly make bread. 

I added the liquid ingredients and stirred again.  It was really sticky.  I scooped up 1/2 of bread flour and I added a little at a time and mixed in the flour and kneaded the dough.  I got a ball of dough that was still a little sticky but able to be handled.  I removed the ball and oiled the bowl with 1 tsp of oil and rolled the dough around so all the sides were covered.

I moistened the towel and let the dough rest and rise.  I peak a few times during the day to make sure.  After ten hours, I took the dough and kneaded it for about a minute in the bowl.  I pinched together the bottom and put it in the pan.  I covered it and left it in the semi-cooled oven after I made dinner.  I rose up really nicely in about an hour and a half.

It was all ready to be baked so I preheated the oven and started the process at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then lowered the oven to 350 degrees.  It browned up with the first 10 minutes and I waited patiently (or as patiently as one can when they are really tired and baking bread at almost midnight).  The final product was really lovely.

I took it out of the pan immediately and let it rest on the counter.

I was glad to try a slice for breakfast the next morning.

My major note is that I don't mind the waiting time but getting this all done in one day is hard and getting my energy up at night to mix up the dough so that I can make it in the morning is also difficult.  I think that I need to time it better to be mixing up the bread while I am in the kitchen making dinner so that it will be ready to bake in the morning and I don't have to make a special trip to the kitchen.  Although a really easy recipe, it was a little tough since I finally got to it in the morning and spent the rest of the day waiting.  Make at night so that the 8-10 hours of rising happens over night so you too aren't up at midnight baking bread before going to sleep!!

Check out the recipe below and I hope that you try to make this soon.  No special equipment needed and it is super easy to make.

Easy Honey Wheat Bread

From the Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking by Kate Payne

In a large mixing bowl, combine the following:

1 packet of active dry yeast
¼ c room temp water

Let this sit for 5 minutes and then add the following dry ingredients:

1 c whole wheat flour
¾ c unbleached bread flour
1 ½ tsp salt

Combine the following in a measuring cup and add it to your mixture:

¼ c cold water
1 tbsp honey dissolved to a liquid in ¼ c boiled water
1 tbsp melted butter or 2 tsp olive oil

At this point the dough will be sticky and difficult to stir.  I usually dump it on the clean counter and add up to ½ c unbleached bread flour by the tbsp until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or the countertop.

Knead for 10 minutes, flattening your dough, folding it over like a taco, smashing it down, and repeating the process.

Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a coat a medium sized mixing bowl.  Place your dough ball in the bowl.  Then flip it so both sides of the dough are glazed with oil.  Cover it with a slightly damp towel and leave it on the counter overnight or for 8-12 hours.

Phase 2:

Grease one medium sized loaf pan with butter or olive oil.

Dump the dough onto the counter,  Knead it for a minute then shape it to be the length of your loaf pan.  Peel the dough off the counter and fold it lengthwise like a taco, pincing together the seam and placing it seam down into your loaf pan.

Cover with a damp towel or greased plastic wrap and stick the loaf pan in the cool over, keeping the oven off.  If you have gas, the pilot creates the perfect temp for the final rise.  If you have electric, turn the oven on 200 degrees and when it reaches that temperature, turn it off.  Stick the loaf in after the oven has been off for at least 10 minutes.  Let rise for an hour and a half.

Remove the loaf from oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce heat to 35o degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until the inside temperature of the loaf reaches 190 degrees.  Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool before slicing it.

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