Weekly Honey Wheat Bread

Today is weekly Honey Wheat Bread Day. I make this every week for our toast and sandwich bread. This recipe makes two loaves, so I like to share this with friends. The bread freezes well so I can make in advance if I don’t plan on baking the following week. And let’s face it. This makes my house smell AMAZING! If you want more than two loaves, make sure you wait until first two are done and in oven before you start another batch. I tried to make 4 at a time and all four were ready to go in the oven at once. I had to keep two loaves sitting out and they over proved. They fell in on top while waiting for their turn in oven. If you have an oven that fits four tins on one shelf in middle of oven, then try four at once. I don’t and ended up with two wrinkled, flat top breads. Ugly, but tasty.  

The bread has two different proving(rising) periods and needs to be incorporated mostly by hand. You can use a standing mixer to incorporate ingredients but its hard on it. Just get ingredients mixed then do the rest of the kneading by hand. Use slow setting and a bread hook. NOT the mixer paddle. This recipe uses 3 different types of flour. Most of my flour is King Arthur brand flour. Mainly because it is easy to find. I also began learning to bake bread using these flours, so I know how each feel during kneading and proofing processes. You should use what you are familiar with. Bread is a tactile experience. You need to know how the bread feels as you go. Make sure you are patient with your proving. LET THIS RISE. If you don’t let the dough rise in each step you will have tough, dry bread. A digital thermometer is also handy for this recipe. But not necessary. If you don’t have bread flour you can use 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour and 4 cups All Purpose Flour for the recipe. Happy Baking!

Let’s talk flour.

White Whole Wheat Flour gives the bread its dense feel. I’ve altered the recipe before and done all white whole wheat, but it was super dense. I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat. This flour has a high protein percentage (12%) so a little for flavor and density goes a long way.

Bread Flour gives the bread a nice smooth gluten structure and gives the bread a little more spring. I use King Arthur Bread Flour which has a protein level of 11-13%. I use this flour for almost all of my bread recipes. This flour needs to be worked (kneaded) well to produce a smooth dough.

All Purpose Flour This flour is also known as ‘cake flour’. Mostly used with cakes, crackers, cookies, and pastry. This flour helps to produce a softer crumb structure.  Its protein level is 9-11 % Unlike bread flour, this flour does not need vigorous kneading. If you overwork this flour your bakes will be rubbery. I use unbleached all-purpose from Costco.

Self-Rising Flour This flour has a lower protein percentage, only 8% and has a rising agent already in it. It takes very little work to put together. I use this with scones to get a nice crumble. And quick rise breads. I use King Arthur Self-Rising.

Semolina Flour I use this primarily as a light coating on bread. It makes wet doughs such as Ciabatta easier to handle. This flour also gives the finished loaf a nice soft crunchy crust. Bread flour will do the same thing if you can’t find semolina. I make pasta with this flour also. This flour makes very dense pasta if used alone. I usually mix this with ‘00” flour

00 Flour I use this flour for homemade pastas, and pizza crust. This dough is not easy to find. I usually order it online.

HONEY WHEAT BREAD

Makes two 9×5 loaves/2- 1 hour rising sessions/375F for 30-35 min (until golden brown and hollow with inner temp above 200 degrees)

Ingredients

2 cups warm milk (temp of 108-110 degrees.  Warm to touch but not boiling hot. If too hot it will kill yeast, too cold it will take yeast forever to rise)

2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour

2 cups Bread Flour

2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in the milk. Add the honey and stir well. Let the yeast, milk and honey sit until the yeast bubbles.
  • Mix the whole wheat flour, salt, and oil in mixer bowl. Add the milk mixture slowly, while also adding the remaining bread flour and all-purpose flour into your mixer on low speed.  (only mix on low until ingredients are just incorporated. This is a lot of flour for most mixers. I only JUST incorporate the ingredients. This bread takes some elbow grease)
  • Tip out onto a lightly floured surface. This dough will be tacky. Add a bit of flour on your surface to keep it from sticking. Knead dough until it moves past the tacky, lumpy stage and into a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers.  Place dough into a large well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until it doubles in size. Approx. 1 hour
  • Once risen. Tip out on surface and knock out the air in dough by punching it flat. Then shape into a large ball and cut into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small loaf and place them in two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until the dough is 1-1 1/2 inches above pan. Loaves will sink if over risen. So, keep eye on them.
  • Bake at 375F for 30-35 min. Should be golden brown and hollow sounding on bottom if you tap it. You can also use a digital thermometer and test internal temperature. Should be at 200 degrees and up. Tip out onto wire rack.
  • Let bread cool on wire rack before cutting and eating. The steam will continue to be released by bread. This helps to finish cooking.
  • CUT AND EAT!