Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Honey White Wheat Bread

I have to tell y'all.  I haven't baked a loaf of bread since culinary school.  I must have watched 22 tutorials before I gave it a go.  So after 2 hours of letting YouTube fire me up enough to get started - I couldn't find my dough hook.  I.COULD.NOT.FIND.MY.DOUGH.HOOK.  So I began to feel uneasy.  Again.  I gave myself this pep talk:

Traci.  You are 3 years old.  Thirty THREE years old.  You can and you will get in that kitchen and make that bread.  You know why?  Because since your genius self said "if it is something we can make, then we are going to make it, not buy it"....Yeah, where did THAT nonsense come from!  So get your butt in gear, march to the kitchen and KNEAD.THAT.DOUGH!

So my YouTube search turned from 'making bread from scratch' to 'making bread from scratch without a dough hook'.  True Story.  Since it was my birthday, I was feeling overly confident.  But let me tell you what:  this girl made some bread and it was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c.  I mean, not only good - it was freaking GREAT!

Oh did I mention that after I couldn't find my dough hook then I suddenly couldn't find my loaf pans.  Yeah - great.  Just flipping great.  Anyway, back to the recipe.   I am in love.  I am in love with bread and with this recipe.  If you make this bread and eat it hot with butter, then you eat it later with a piece of ham slapped in the middle...but wait, then you decide to eat toast for dinner!  It is/was so good...I can't eat store bought chemically injected bread again.  No way!  Like - it's not even the same thing!!!!  Just give it a try! You.CAN.Do.IT!!!!

:::Honey White-Wheat Bread:::

-2 Cups Warm Water (NOT hot)
-1 T. Active Dry Yeast
-1/3 Cup of Oil + More for Rubbing
-1/2 Cup of REALLY good Honey (Local is best)
-1 tsp Salt
-3 Cups of Wheat Flour (I like King Arthur)
-3 1/2 C. White Flour, All Purpose

(1) Add warm water and yeast in a mixing bowl, let set for five minutes to proof the yeast.  Add oil, honey and salt to the water and yeast mixture.  Add in the wheat flour.  Add in the white flour.
(2) After mixing well, flour your surface and turn dough out.  *Knead the dough for ten minutes.  Form into a ball, leave in mixing bowl, rub oil over the top of the ball and finally, cover the dough (while still in the mixing bowl) with a clean cloth or plastic and stick in a warm corner.**   Let the dough rise for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  
(3)  Once it has doubled in size, PUNCH it down and then separate into two even size dough balls by cutting with a knife or dough cutter.  Flour your surface and knead the dough a few times getting rid of any large dough bubbles.  With a floured rolling pin spread the dough out in to a rough rectangle about the width of the bread pan.
(4)  Tightly roll the dough and pinch the ends into the roll.
(5)  Place the dough in a greased bread pan with the seam down.  Repeat for the second ball.  Lightly rub the top of the dough with a little bit of oil and cover again.  Allow the dough to rise until it has risen about 1" above the bread pan.
(6)  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
(7) Remove and let cool in the pan for five minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack until completely cooled.  Wrap tightly in plastic and place in an air tight container for maximum quality!

*To knead: you have your dough ball, with the heel of your plams you push down and forward, fold the dough over and turn a quarter to the right.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat 2 million more times.

**It was a really cold day the day that I made the bread so I preheated my oven to 170 degrees and then turned it off before putting the dough in them mixing bowl in the oven to rest and I propped the door open.

Y'all.  Delicious. I mean, there is absolutely no other way to describe it!  So if you are wondering why my loaves do not actually resemble bread loaves....well because I could never find the pan.  I had to use a smaller casserole dish as an improvisation.  Also - I went for the artisan look.  If you want, you can whisk up an egg white and paint the top of the bread about mid way through your cooking time.  It will be all pretty and shinny.  Another option for a topper is to do the egg white and then sprinkle a mild cheese..mozzarella would probably be a great choice!  Just stay away from a cheddar because you are going to get a really yummy strong honey flavor in the bread and the two together would not be all that great.  In fact, it'd probably be pretty gross.

                                  Save a life.  Make your own bread.
                                  (I don't know, it just sounded funny in my head),
                                              Aka:  The Bread Maker


  1. With all this yummy food you're making, don't be surprised if I show up on your doorstep wanting to eat!!!