In order to provide more content (and add yet another category to my blog!), I’ve decided to start sharing some of my favorite recipes with my ones of readers when I can. I enjoy cooking, but sometimes I just make it up as I go. Other times, I go straight from a recipe from a cookbook or a website. In those cases, it’s not prudent to try to share the recipe. In this first entry, I’m going to start with a recipe for wheat bread that I got from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and then modified to better suit what I wanted.
I have to admit, I cheat and use a bread maker to do the mixing, kneading and first rise. That’s more out of laziness than anything else. Kneading by hand isn’t too hard, and I’ve done it before. The consistency of the bread does seem better when I use the bread maker, but with more practice I’m sure I’d be better. The dough for this recipe also tends to be pretty thick, so if your mixer is wimpy, be careful.
- 1¾ cups water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 to 2½ cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 package active dry yeast (or 2½ tsp canned yeast)
- Add ingredients to bread maker in the order listed. Before adding yeast, make a well in the flour. Add the yeast into the well.
- Start the bread machine on the dough-only setting. On mine, this takes about an hour and a half and includes mixing, kneading and the first rise.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Shape dough into loaves and place into greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pans.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
- Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.
And that’s all there is to it. In just a few hours, and with minimal mess, you’ll have your own fresh-baked bread. If you wrap it up well in plastic and keep it in the refrigerator, a loaf can cast several weeks (a few seconds in the mircowave wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel will warm it right up). Slice thinly for sandwiches, or use thicker slices for sopping up stews and soups.