Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
Courtesy: Gold Medal Flour
While waiting for some dough to rise for another project, I happened to notice this recipe on the side of the bag of flour. It sounded good, but did not exactly fit the criteria for "practical" baking. Too many steps and too many ingredients plus the two different oven temperature settings make this recipe a bit too involved for regular use around this household. However, the weather was cold, it was raining horizontally, and I wasn’t about to go outside and do the many chores that need my attention, so I decided to give it a try. The 2 loaves you create are worth the effort, but you do have to dedicate some time to this project.
2 packages active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
½ cup honey
¼ cup butter or margarine
3 teaspoons salt
2 ½ cups very warm water (120-130 degrees)
4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 ¾ to 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
(Gold Medal recommends using their flour; it will work using other brands!)
-In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In large bowl, mix honey , butter, salt and very warm water; cool for 5 minutes
-To the cooled honey mixture, beat in 3 cups of the whole wheat flour with electric mixer on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently, until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in remaining whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast. With a spoon, stir in 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ cups of the all purpose flour, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
-Place dough on floured work surface. Knead in the remaining all purpose flour; continue kneading until dough is smooth and springy. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning it to grease all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
-Generously grease 2 loaf pans, 8 X 4 or 9 X 5 inches. Gently push your fist into the dough to deflate it; divide it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half out into a rectangle, 8 inches by 18 inches. Starting with the 8 inch side, roll the dough up tightly, pressing with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal; pinch each end to seal. Fold ends under loaf; place seam side down in pan. Cover; let rise in warm place for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
-Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover dough and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350, and bake another 10-15 minutes. Loaves are ready when they sound hollow when lightly tapped on the bottom. Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks; let cool completely, which takes about an hour.