I’m on a bread kick. Q told me yesterday “Even though it’s homemade, it’s still bread…” as a reminder that maybe we should limit ourselves to one loaf a week. I can’t help it though, I love the challenge. Every loaf is different: some you add the yeast to the dry ingredients, some you let the yeast rise first, some require hand mixing and kneading and others none at all. This loaf was one of my first complicated loaves. I’ve done cheesy beer bread (about the easiest, fool proof bread there is) and artisan loaves, but this was my first whole wheat sandwich loaf. The process is a little scary since you DO have to hand-knead the bread for a minute. I kept re-watching this youtube video on kneading until I got the hang of it.
This is one of the easier knead-by-hand breads I’ve done and the loaves came out perfectly. Q used the bread for sandwiches for the week and I froze one loaf for the future. The bread’s crust is crunchy and the inside light and airy. A little tricky, but definitely worth the process, this bread is amazing.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 cups bread flour plus additional flour as needed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 .25 ounce packets active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 2/3 cups warm water
- 2/3 cup milk (we used nonfat)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the whole wheat flour, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
- In a medium bowl, combine honey, water, milk, and butter and heat in microwave until temperature reaches between 105 and 110 degrees (I checked every 30-45 seconds with a thermometer). Once temperature is reached, stir liquids so butter is fully melted.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl. Using a dough hook attached to the stand mixer, mix the dough on level 2 for 5 minutes. Add additional bread flour as needed as the dough comes together if it looks too sticky. Once dough has cleared the bowl, remove to a lightly floured counter surface.
- Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes until no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary. Form the dough into a large round ball and place in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size (the oven when it’s off is a great place).
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. Using a rolling pin on a flat surface (cutting board works well), roll each half into a 10×12 rectangle and then roll each half up like a cinnamon roll (start at one end and roll towards the other end until rolled into a round log). Pinch together the seams of the log to make it as seamless as possible. Roll the log on the counter a few times and place each log in an oiled 9×5-inch bread pan seam-side up. Shake the roll in the pan to oil the bottom. Take the log out and reinsert it into the pan, seam-side down.
- Return the pans to a warm place, cover lightly with a clean dish towel and let rise an additional 30 minutes or until at least 1 inch above the pan top.
- Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap it. Remove the bread from the pans and let them cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and let fully cool on rack before serving.