As per Sally’s request I am sharing another favourite bread recipe! This one is super simple and (relatively) quick. The only times I’ve had it not work as well is: 1) when I overheated the milk/molasses/honey and 2) when I forgot the salt. I think when I over-heated the milk mixture I killed the yeast because the bread did not rise well at all. Conversely, the bread rose too much when I forgot the salt! So these would be my only words of caution here; 1) don’t over-heat the liquid ingredients and 2) remember all the ingredients. :p
I again adapted this recipe from my Company’s Coming Breads cookbook.
This good ol' favourite again!
Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from Company’s Coming: Breads page 146
Yields 2 loaves
Preparation time: 30 minutes Inactive time: 1.5hrs Baking time: 35 min Total time: approximately 2.5 hours
- 4 cups (1L) whole wheat flour
- 2x8g (1.5 tbsp) active dry yeast
- 3 1/4 cups (800mL) milk (any type will work, but I just discovered that unsweetened coconut milk gives me amazing results!)
- Approx 95mL honey My Pampered Chef Mini-Measure All cup for this. Alternatively, the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60mL) Mild molasses
- 1/4 cup (60mL) of butter or margarine
- 2 tsp (10mL) salt (I often forget the salt and it works just fine and still tastes good, but I often use salted butter)
- Approx. 4.5 cups of whole wheat flour
- Approx. 2 tsp (10mL) butter for brushing tops (optional)
- Combine first amount of whole wheat flour and yeast in your mixer bowl.
- Add butter to a saucepan and turn on to low-medium. Add milk, molasses and honey. Heat until warm (not hot!). Add liquid ingredients to the yeast/flour mixture and beat on low to combine.
- Add remaining flour about a cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add enough flour for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Beat on high using the dough hook for 2-3 minutes, or knead on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. A good test of this is to pinch a little dough and pull. It should stretch about an inch before tearing off.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the dough in grease. Cover with a tea towel or chunk of parchment paper and place in a warm oven with the light on for about 1 hour (or until the dough has approximately doubled).
- Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 loaves. At this stage I typically freeze one loaf and bake the other. If you are baking the bread, place it in a greased loaf pan, if you are freezing it place it in a saran wrap lined loaf pan. I use the typical 9x5x3″ (22x12x7cm) loaf pan.
- Bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes or freeze in the loaf pan for several hours, then remove from pan and wrap or bag the dough for storage.
- Allow the baked bread to cool for at least 5minutes before turning it onto cooling racks to finish cooling.
- If you froze one (or both) of the loaves you only need to thaw and rise it in a greased pan, then bake it at 375ºF for 35 minutes when you are ready to use it!
First, here are two photos of my sub-optimal loaves!
This picture is of the loaf that didn't rise because I scalded the yeast. Still not too bad, but a little dense and short for my liking.
This loaf looks a little prettier, but it actually fell in the middle because it over-rose. Why did that happen? As I mentioned above I forgot the salt, which inhibits the yeast's propagation! And here you thought salt is only added for flavour! Or maybe it was only me who thought that. ;)
So after posting this yesterday I realized I needed to bake some more bread, so off I went. My cute littlest man was a bit fussy, and I was chatting with my oldest and so I again forgot the salt! Fortunately, I have a “bad” habit of pinching off and tasting a small piece of dough whenever I bake. I could taste the difference and realized my mistake. Knowing that it would be near-impossible to add the salt at this point if I wanted it well-distributed I instead checked on the dough earlier with each rise. Taking about 20 minutes off the first rise and 5-10 off the second rise resulted in a bread that was perfectly risen and had a perfect crust. I even remembered to butter it was it was cooling, and yes, I broke my “wait 5 minutes before removing it” rule. I had to try a piece fresh out of the oven, you know, to make sure the lack of salt didn’t ruin the flavour. 😉 It didn’t.
Oh yes, this is a tasty loaf of bread!
Anyway, good luck with your bread-baking adventures! I hope you have learned something from both my successes and my failures, I know I have!
Editors note: I recently discovered unsweetened coconut milk gives great results, check out this new picture!