Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

Monday, May 2, 2016

I have never been a big fan of wheat bread.  It isn't that I don't like it, or that I think it can't be good, but I am an artisan bread girl.  I will take a loaf of French bread, challah bread or focaccia bread over wheat bread any day of the week. 

I haven't made wheat bread for a while, buuuuut, as we get ready to move, I am trying to use up the stuff in our pantry, so the wheat berries need to be ground, and wheat flour must be used.    

So a week or so ago, I decided to make two loaves of wheat bread to go with dinner.  Typically when we have salad or soup for dinner, I make a loaf of bread to go with it to bulk it up.  Plus it tastes good, and I like eating bread.

Janssen has a wheat bread recipe that I have made before, that I thought was pretty good for a sandwich-type loaf.  I didn't think it was as good as french bread, but I figured I would give it another shot.  

The original wheat bread recipe is a good one, but I made a few subtle changes that I think affect the flavor and texture quite a bit, and make it pretty terrific. 

The coconut oil gives it a softness, that I love (I use it as the oil my French bread as well), and the honey gives it that darker sweetness and a faint honey taste.  Overall, it was a terrifically delicious loaf of wheat bread!  Certainly worth your consideration if you want to try making a sandwich bread!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread: 
Adapted from Everyday Reading
Yields two sandwich loaves

2 3/4 cup very warm water
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs unrefined coconut oil, very soft
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs vital wheat gluten (I bought a small package of mine, the same brand that I linked to, from Walmart, based on Janssen's recommendation.  I think it was only a couple bucks to buy an individual pack from Walmart).  
1 Tbs buttermilk powder (nonfat dry milk will work, too)
1/2 cup white flour
4-6 cups white whole wheat flour

Combine water, yeast and a sprinkle of sugar in a large bowl.  Let yeast rest for 10 minutes to proof.

Add the sugar, coconut oil, honey, salt vital wheat gluten, buttermilk powder, white flour and 2 cups of the wheat flour.  Stir to combine, until it starts to form some lumps.  Let it sit and hydrate for 10 minutes.  

Continue adding flour, until it forms a ball.  Knead for 10 minutes.  

Grease two bread pans, and with a sharp knife, or your hands, divide the dough into two even sections.  Form each section into a small loaf, and place one in the bottom of each pan.  

Cover with greased plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and let them sit for 60-90 minutes (mine rose really fast, because I used freshly ground, very warm wheat flour).  Place your pans in a cold oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F, and set the time for 35 minutes.  My bread pans are glass, so I can tell when the bottoms and sides are looking done (at about 38 minutes, for these loaves), but if you don't have that luxury, rap the bread with your knuckles to see if they are sound hollow inside, or alternatively, just wait until the bread is a dark golden brown on top.  

Let it cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.  Let it sit another 5 minutes, and serve warm.  Bread is always the best fresh out of the oven!  If you can't eat it all the first day, it will keep quite well, wrapped in a beeswax cloth.  I am going to do a DIY for these, because I made several a few months ago, and they are awesome, but until then, here is the link to beeswax wrap that you can buy! 

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