Sunday, December 7, 2008
Having rediscovered the joy of homemade bread, I doubt we'll be going back anytime soon. It just takes time, and most of that time is hands-off waiting for it to rise while you do other things. You have to be mindful of the clock, but the only real requirement is you stick around to see the whole thing through. I'm hoping to be together enough to bake two loaves in the evening twice a week. One loaf can be fresh; the other can wait in the freezer. When supplies dwindle, it's time to bake two loaves again. Easy-peasy. And this bread is DELICIOUS! The recipe is "Basic Whole-Wheat Bread" from Feed Me I'm Yours by Vicki Lansky. She recommends adding a measure of soy flour, nonfat dry milk and wheat germ to each cup when using white flour. I went ahead and added what I had (no soy flour) to the whole wheat. We can always use the extra nutrients, and it certainly doesn't compromise the taste!
Homemade Honey-Wheat Bread
2 packages yeast
1 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 Tbsp honey
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, margarine or vegetable oil (butter!)
1/3 cup honey
1.5 Tbsp salt
5 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk (optional)
3 cups white flour (or as needed)
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of honey. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine milk, butter (or margarine or oil), honey and salt. Heat to lukewarm--do not scald.
Pour warm milk mixture and dissolved yeast into large mixing bowl. Add the whole-wheat flour, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to use all the whole-wheat flour. Add wheat germ and dry milk if desired. Add enough white flour to make a soft, yet manageable dough.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (approx 8-10 minutes). Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in bulk (40-60 minutes).
Punch down, divide in half, and knead each half for about 30 seconds. Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans.
Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F and bake 40 minutes or until done.
Turn out loaves onto rack and cool.
Slice, eat, enjoy, and wonder how you will ever eat store-bought bread again.