Few things in life are better than homemade bread. Seriously. The smell wafting from the oven, butter spread over a fresh slice, dipping it into a bowl of homemade soup. YUM. And the combination of milk and honey in this recipe? Stellar.
I know the process can be a bit intimidating though. I wanted to write through a few tricky points I’ve worked over the last few years. First? Proofing the yeast. To do this warm the liquid (in this case water) in the microwave for about 30 seconds. This is about the temp at which you can dip your finger into it and feel it’s warm but not too hot to leave your finger in. Add the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and mix slightly. Leave it alone for about ten minutes. It should start foaming/bubbling at this point, which is when you know it’s proofed.
Second, make sure you add the flour little by little. Too much makes the bread really tough. The dough should stick together. As seen here.
Finally, forming the dough. I’m obviously still working on this, as demonstrated by my uneven loaf sizes below. It’s definitely an art form and I look at this link from About.
When letting it rise, I preheat the oven and leave the loaves covered with a flour sack right on top of the oven so it has a little bit of warmth. It should double in size over 45 minutes to one hour.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 packages of active dry yeast (or Rapid Rise)
- 1 Tablespoon of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup honey
1) Start by proofing this yeast. Microwave the water until warm, add teaspoon of sugar and yeast packages and let sit for 10 minutes.
2) In a large mixing bowl whisk together all the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of all purpose flour and salt. In a small saucepan add milk, honey and butter until butter is melted and honey is combined.
3) Add the milk mixture, and yeast mixture to the flour and stir. Then add the egg. When mixed together, add all-purpose flour, one half-cup at a time. When you can’t stir any more in, turn dough out onto well-floured surface and knead for 5 or so minutes.
4) Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray and put the dough into the bowl. If you use regular yeast let the dough rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. If you use rapid rise yeast, let it rise for ten minutes then move on to next step.
5) Divide dough in two using sharp knife and form into two loaves. Put into bread pans, sprayed with non-stick spray, and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place.
6) Preheat oven to 375 and bake bread for about 40 minutes, until top is browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped. When it comes out of the oven, brush with butter and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!