There’s nothing like the flavor and aroma of baking bread. I’ve been making my own bread for a few years now, and whenever I go back to the store bought kind I’m always disappointed. Sure, their bread is fluffier, but it can never replace bread made at home. Plus, with the help of a bread machine set on the dough cycle, most of the work is already done.
I prefer to bake my bread in the oven for a better crumb and crust (and to avoid the unsightly hole on from the bread machine paddle). This is the best bread for sandwiches and French toast. Oh, and I can’t forget about the fact that this bread is 100% whole wheat. It comes out soft, rather than the usual brick. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
(Makes 1 loaf; A double batch works too: double everything but the yeast; you’ll just need two loaf pans)
- 1 1/4 cup water (substitute 2 TB of orange juice if you’re sensitive to the tannin flavor in whole wheat)
- 1 1/2 TB butter, chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (King Arthur white whole wheat recommended)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 TB dry milk
- 3 TB vital wheat gluten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Dissolve the dry milk into the water.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into the pan according to your breach machine’s instructions. My machine has me add the liquids before the dry ingredients, with the yeast last.
- Put on dough cycle. Push start. Once the machine starts kneading, check it to see if any flour needs to be pushed down (or water or extra flour needed). A single batch loaf should be fine, but whenever I make a double batch I find that I need to use a small rubber spatula or chopstick to push the flour down the sides.
- Once the cycle is complete, roll out in approximately a 9×12 rectangle. You may or may not need flour. Roll up lengthwise like a jelly roll. Tuck in the sides. Put seam side down in loaf pan and make three score marks evenly across the dough. (Or place the dough seam side up to save time on the scoring.)
- Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. (Make sure to spray plastic wrap to prevent dough sticking.) Let bread rise for 45-1 hour or until doubled in volume. (I like to turn on the oven to 200 F, put the pan in, turn off the oven, and leave the dough in there for 30 minutes with the pilot light on.)
- Take out the pan.Take off towel or plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and bread temperature measures 205F (if you don’t have a thermometer, the bread should have a hollow sound when you knock on it).
- Let cool on top of a cooling rack 10 minutes before taking out of the pan. (Don’t leave the loaf in the pan too long or it will get soggy.) Then cool completely on the rack before eating. I can never wait for it to cool completely, so I’m always sneaking in a slice or two while it’s still warm.