Even after learning how to make great bread like homemade dinner rolls and homemade pizza crust, I still didn't have a good sandwich bread. We've been buying cheap Aldi's bread with lots of corn syrup and preservatives, yuck! So, I tweaked, adapted, and increased a basic bread recipe to come up with this delicious honey wheat bread. It's simple, and is the perfect size and texture for sandwiches.
This recipe takes about 3 hours from start to finish. But don't panic, almost all of that is rising and baking time. All you have to do is the initial mixing and kneading (and if you have a stand mixer, this is done for you), shape the dough into loaves, and pop it in the oven.
What you need: for 2 loaves
- 1 Tbs yeast
- 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees)
- 4 Tbs oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 1/2 cups bread flour
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
1. Combine yeast and water. (You can sprinkle with 1/8 tsp sugar to help activate the yeast). Let sit about 5 minutes, until foaming. Then add oil and honey.
2. Combine flours and salt in a stand mixer. Use the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the yeast mixture.
Note: if you don't have a stand mixer, you can still make this simple dough. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture as in step 2. Mix slowly until well combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead about 6 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Then continue with step 5.
3. Increase mixer speed to medium for 3 minutes. Then turn off mixer and let dough rest 5 minutes.
4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead about 50 times by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down. Divide in half and let rest 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, grease the bottom and 1 inch up on the sides of two 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.
7. On a lightly floured surface, push one piece of dough out into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Starting with a short edge, roll the dough into a log shape. Place seam side down in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the 2nd half. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cover top with foil the last 20 minutes so the bread doesn't over-brown.
9. Remove from pans and allow to completely cool on wire racks. Store on the counter-top for several days in an airtight container. Or, wrap tightly with foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
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