Friday, August 26, 2005

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

It seems like it's been a while since I made a loaf of bread. The last few I've made for personal consumption - not just to post about here - have been sourdough. I like sourdough and I feel like my loaves come out consistently well enough to be impressive. Not that I'm constantly fishing for compliments or anything, but it is decidedly fun to have people over for a bbq or something and serve a loaf that you baked yourself. At least 80% of people have no idea what makes sourdough sourdough.
Of course, you don't always want the same kind of bread. This was an easy one - great taste and easy to work with dough. Slightly sweet and a bit nutty, this bread tastes like nothing more than good bread. It is light, with a soft and even crumb. It goes great with soup, sandwiches or nothing more than a little butter. Addictive.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110F)
1 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp honey
1 cup bread flour (ap is ok)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, stir together yeast and the warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in melted butter, honey and flours. Add a bit more flour if your dough is too sticky, otherwise stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball, about 2 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Remove dough again to a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate dough. Shape into an oblong loaf and place or a baking sheet, or place dough into a greased loaf pan. Cover bread with a dishtowl and let dough rise until doubled, 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
If you're doing a freeform loaf, go ahead and slash the top a few times, then place the loaf in to oven. Bake for 25 minutes at 400F, until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Let loaf cool before slicing.
Makes one loaf