If you are anything like me, you have probably made plenty of homemade bread only to be disappointed. It’s hard. It’s dense. It’s crumbly. And it can never be used as sandwich bread!
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved homemade bread, but it’s never been good for anything other than dipping in olive oil. That is until now.
This 100% Whole Wheat bread recipe is amazing! It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to story bought sandwich bread without having to use all the icky stuff like dough conditioners.
And the best part…It doesn’t take all day (or multiple days). There’s not endless kneading to be done so at the end of the day, your hands won’t be aching.
So, here’s what you will need:
- 1 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
- 3 3/4 cups Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- *Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.
And here’s what you do:
1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. For easiest, most effective kneading, let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the bowl; this gives the flour a chance to absorb some of the liquid, and the bran to soften. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1″ above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
Doesn’t it look delicious? Oh, there’s nothing better than fresh out of the oven, warm, homemade bread!
Tip: Slice thin with a serrated bread knife to use for sandwiches.