Making homemade bread for my family has been a quest of mine for years. I've tried lots of recipes, but haven't been satisfied with any of them. Both my husband and son say they don't care for wheat bread (even though that's all I ever buy in this house), so during hunting season I will either make or buy white bread as a treat for them.
I've collected many recipes for both wheat and white bread over the years, and this one is my latest attempt at finding the perfect homemade wheat bread. If 4 stars are the best, then I give this one 3 stars. The taste and texture were perfect, the only thing that bothered me was the "height" of it. However, that could have been my fault because as I was putting it into the oven I knocked the pan on the side of the oven pretty hard and I could see it deflate a little. Either that or the altitude is to blame, but either way I would have liked it to be a little taller. I will give this recipe another try before moving on to another, because all things considered this really was a wonderful tasting wheat bread. My husband said he thought it was really good, so I think I'm on to something here.
Honey Wheat Bread (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water (105° F - 115° F)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
1 3/4 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup or malt extract
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1/4 cup of the water with the yeast and honey. Let the mixture to set until the yeast is creamy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine both flours and the salt together and set aside.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining water, oil, barley malt, and about half of the flour mixture to the yeast, and mix on low speed for one minute. Add the rest of the flour mixture and increase the speed to medium, mixing until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn't come together, add 1 tbsp at a time of white flour until the dough starts to form a ball. Continue to mix at medium speed for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Place it in a large lightly oiled bowl, and rotate the dough to coat it lightly in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm area until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Punch down the dough lightly to deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 9" by 12" rectangle with the short side facing you. Fold the top of the dough 2/3's of the way down then fold again so that the top meets the bottom edge, and seal the seam by pinching. Turn the dough so that the seam is centered, facing up. Tuck the ends of the roll in so the loaf will fit in the pan, and pinch to seal these seams. Plump and shape the dough with your hands, and place seam side down in the loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size again, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375, and place oven rack in center of oven. After the dough has risen, bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. An old-fashioned way to see if it's done is to take your knuckles and knock on the top & if sounds hollow, then it's done. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack.