Friday, September 16, 2011

Honey Wheat Bread

Freshly baked bread. It is possibly my favorite smell and taste. The aroma wafts throughout the whole house and envelopes you in an yummy hug. The taste is comforting and soothing, especially with a bit of butter melting from the heat of the oven. I actually rate restaurants based on their bread: the availability, the origin (did they make it in house, or did they buy it from an actual bakery, or did they buy it from the grocery store?), the freshness, the accompaniment, if it is hot, and of course the flavor. I am very picky about bread, and I honestly will not go back to a restaurant if I did not care for the bread. In my mind, if you did not like your meal, you can always order something different the next time. The bread, however, will always stay the same.
Sometimes...I wish I was Shafer...not a care in the world!

Now that I have confessed my obsession with bread, I must say that I have fallen into a bit of a rut with my bread variety at home. I have already shared my Honey White Bread, my favorite bread recipe and one that I make about once a week so that we can use it for all sorts of different meals. As I said in an earlier post, Bunker and I are branching out a bit as far as our eating habits go, and this includes adding more whole wheat. What better way to do this, and break out of my honey white bread rut, then with a tasty new wheat bread recipe?  I hope you enjoy this richer version of my favorite everyday bread, Honey Wheat Bread.

 Cort at her look-out post at our house in North Carolina. 

Cort with her cousins, George and Henry, at their look-out post at Jeanie and Andy's!

Shafer at her look-out post in Dallas. Overseeing her kingdom...the backyard!

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2 cups of warm water
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 of a cup of honey
1/3 of a cup of olive oil
3 1/2 to 4 cups of all purpose flour

1. Gather all of your ingredients. Here is a hint: measure out your olive oil in the measuring cup before you measure out the honey. The olive oil will keep the honey from sticking!

2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

3. Add the honey to the yeast and water and stir to combine.

4. Add the whole wheat flour, the salt, and the olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine.

5. Gradually add the all purpose flour. Add until the dough is no longer sticky but not tough. I added almost 4 cups.

6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. You want an smooth and elastic dough.

7. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm and draft free place for about an hour.

8. Remove the dough from the bowl and split into two pieces.

9. Place each piece in a lightly oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm and draft free place for about an hour, or until almost doubled in size.

10. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the bread to have a hollow sound when you tap on the top.

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