Friday, December 27, 2013

Whole Wheat Honey Bread

This is my new go-to bread - it is so easy to make and comes out perfect every time. It's also my family's favorite, so I like to have plenty on hand. It makes an ample 3-loaf batch of soft, somewhat dense bread. It combines bread flour and whole wheat flour along with honey giving it a slightly sweet, nutty taste. I like to support our local bee keepers, so I always use Alaskan-grown honey. ~Patti

3 cups warm water
4-1/2 teaspoons (or 2 packets) active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops

In large bowl, mix together water, yeast, 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups of bread flour and combine. Let this set about 30 minutes or until it's big. The dough will be a little bubbly and jiggly.

Then add the melted butter, salt, wheat flour, and second addition of honey and stir until dough is formed.

Sprinkle a little wheat flour on your counter or work surface. Knead well, adding additional wheat flour as needed. I find I use about 1 extra cup. Dough should be somewhat sticky and barely pull away from the work surface. Don't over knead the dough. 

Place dough in lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat the dough. You can use butter or non-stick spray. I like to use butter. Cover and let rise in a warm area for about an hour or until doubled.

Shape dough into loaves, set in greased pans and cover till they rise above edges of the pan. Pop them into a preheated oven (350 degrees) and bake for @ 25 minutes, until golden.

After removing from oven, brush tops with melted butter so the loaf stays soft.

Oh yeah! Beautiful! Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Otherwise, slice yourself a big piece (as soon as it's cool enough to touch) and devour.

I like to have my slice with the Alaskan raspberry freezer jam Audrey posted earlier this year :) 

Rose Hip & Raspberry Freezer Jam Recipe