Good homemade bread is such a treat and a bit of a lost art in home kitchens. I think it's intimidating to some and time consuming for others. And trust me, I've had my fair share of loaves that collapsed on a rainy day or old yeast that yielded hockey pucks instead of fluffy yeast rolls. Bless my father-in-law for eating those dreadful rolls and never saying a word other than thank you. That dear man is a keeper.
Like most skills, practice builds confidence. And the ingredients for bread are so cheap, you can afford some mistakes along the way. I've shared our pizza dough recipe in the past, but here is one of our favorite breads for sandwiches....or just fresh out of the oven, sliced, and slathered in butter.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
(recipe from Recipe Girl)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 to 5 cups bread flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast (or .5 ounces)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine whole wheat flour, 4 cups bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
- In a medium bowl, combine honey, milk, water and butter, and heat to between 105 and 110 degrees in the microwave. Then add to dry ingredients in the mixer bowl fitted with dough hook.
- Slowly mix to combine, then turn up speed and knead dough together. Add more bread flour as needed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl. Mix for 5 minutes and remove to a lightly floured surface.
- Knead by hand until no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary. Form the dough into a large round ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (or until about doubled in size).
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it in half. Roll each half into a 10 x 12 rectangle and roll each up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seams. Place each roll in an oiled 9x5-inch bread pan seam-side up. Shake the roll to oil the bottom, turn the pan over, catch the dough and reinsert it into the pan, seam-side-down.
- Return the pan to a warm place, cover lightly with a clean dishtowel, and let rise an additional 30 minutes or until at least 1 inch above the sides of your baking dish.
- Bake in a preheated 400°F. oven for 25 minutes, or until the center of the bread tests 190 to 200 degrees. Remove the bread from the pans and let them cool on a rack.
*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix and then knead the bread by hand. It'll be a bit of a workout, but it's worth it.
*If you have a newer oven, you may have a proof setting that will give you the perfect setting for dough to rise. Alternatively, you can turn on the oven for 60 seconds and then turn it off. Turn on the oven light and it should be just right for the loaves to rise. I've also put my dough on top of my dryer while it's running or even on a heating pad. It will also rise at room temperature, but could take longer than the times listed above.