Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Best Ever Honey Whole Wheat Bread!



I have been making this bread for over 3 years...and have been meaning to blog about it for just about that long! It took several months to gradually adjust a recipe I found until I was satisfied with the results: a soft, light-tasting, no-white-flour, all whole wheat bread.


I have found that I prefer this bread to have a short stay in the freezer before cutting, seems to tenderize the crust even more. As this is the only bread we now eat (no more store stuff!), the freezer time isn't a problem. I make a batch or two a week, always being sure to have a loaf or two or more in the freezer!

Because I make this bread so often, I mix up the flour and gluten beforehand and place in quart bags. This helps evenly distribute the gluten throughout the flour – if you don't, you can end up with gluey glops in your bread. Ick. This also cuts down my preparation time (I've got my recipe memorized), and I can quickly grab a bag and put a batch together in my bread machine in the morning.


And, this bread really must have the gluten. Gluten helps keep whole wheat bread soft and tender. Make this bread without, and you'll notice the difference!!

BEST EVER HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

In bread machine place:
1-1/3 cups warm milk
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola (or olive) oil
1/3 cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten

Thoroughly combine and add:
3-3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I've used every brand and found that Gold Medal has the best results!)
3 tablespoons gluten (find this in the baking aisle – I use Bob's Red Mill)

Make a small well in flour and place:
1-1/4 teaspoons yeast

Choose your bread machine's dough setting. When cycle is complete, turn dough out onto a greased or floured surface (I use a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray – keeps my countertop clean, too)! Divide dough in half. Press one half into a rough rectangle (see pictures) and roll tightly towards you. Pinch and turn ends under. Place dough in greased loaf pan. Repeat with other half of dough.
Cover bread with cloth and let rise in a warm place until edges just begin to round the edge of the pan (this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity of your house, the season, etc).

Once dough has risen, you can brush the top with a light egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water), if desired (I don't even bother with this step anymore)! Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

When cool, package and freeze...or slice and eat.

Best whole wheat toast and sandwich bread...ever!! Ever.



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