Finally, a week where I’ve gotten my ducks in a row so that I have a recipe to share for Cookbook Sundays over at Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen! Feels nice to be on the ball for once 🙂
This recipe comes courtesy of the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking Cookbook. I must admit, though, this is not a cookbook that’s been collecting dust on my shelves, I checked it out from the library (it may have been collecting dust there, who knows?). I’m familiar with Williams-Sonoma, as I’m sure you all are too, but I’ve never been in their stores (a little too rich for my wallet, methinks) or made any of their recipes.
I do love to bake, though, and while some of the recipes in this book weren’t quite up my alley, this one appealed to me right away. I’ve never made bread using all whole-wheat flour (for fear of ending up with bread that’s too hard, dense, and “healthy” tasting), but the recipe states that the honey, eggs, and butter are there to keep the texture nice and soft. They must has done their job because it turned out very nicely! The bread was firm enough that it sliced very easily (and would make great sandwich bread), but also soft enough that I didn’t feel like I was eating a slice of cardboard.
There was also a little bit of sweetness from the honey. The recipe says to substitute water for the milk and cut back on the honey by half if you want a less sweet loaf, but I stuck to the recipe and didn’t think the finished bread was too sweet at all.
All in all, I think this bread might just become one of my favorites!
Come on, let’s make this, shall we? 🙂
First, let your yeast proof in the warm milk until foamy. Add the honey and eggs, then whisk away until blended.
Now add the dry ingredients.
Stir until the dough comes together, then turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until the dough looks something like this.
I want to mention here that the dough is very soft, softer than most other bread doughs I’ve worked with. Resist the temptation to add more and more flour, otherwise you’ll end up with a tougher finished bread. Add just enough flour to where you can knead without the dough sticking to your hands.
Now it gets to do it’s rising this, and when it’s done, it’ll look like this. I never cease to be amazed at seeing dough rise so beautifully.
Btw, on a sidenote, take a look at my recent thriftstore find. This is an old Pyrex bowl. I haven’t searched online yet to learn any more about it, but isn’t is purty? I love old dishes!
Pat the dough out into a rectangle. I use my loaf pan as a reference point to make sure I’m not making it too wide. Roll the dough up, and plonk it in the pan. And we’re off to rise again!
Now that our dough has magically risen again, sprinkle a little flour over the top. I used up all my whole-wheat flour in the dough, so I had to settle for sprinkling on some plain old all-purpose flour. Ready to go in the oven!
And fresh out of the oven. Ain’t she a beauty? I don’t think there’s anything that gives me more satisfaction in the kitchen than baking a beautiful loaf of bread. So you could say I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself right about now 🙂
Slices of this bread are sturdy enough that they would make great sandwiches.
Here’s the complete recipe. Enjoy 🙂
Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1 cup warmed milk (105 to 115 degrees)
- 2 Tb honey
- 1 egg
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour, plus extra for kneading and topping the loaf
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 tb butter, softened
Dissolve the yeast in the milk in a large bowl. Let stand 5-10 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. Using a whisk, stir in the egg and honey. Add the flour, salt, and butter, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a rough mass.
Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes, dusting the work surface with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Punch the dough down, and using the heel of your hand, flatten it into a large rectangle. Roll up from the shorter end until you have a log. Place it in the buttered loaf pan seam side down. Cover and let rise again until doubled., 45-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust the top of the loaf with whole-wheat flour. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the loaf is honey brown in color and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
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