This is an adapted sandwich bread recipe which makes use of 100 % whole wheat flour. As with whole wheat breads, it is a bit dense and earthy. It however has a soft crust, well constructed grain structure and slices very well. It has a slight note of honey and butter which adds another dimension of flavor to this loaf. This healthier alternative to white bread can be used in a lot of recipes or enjoyed as is with your favorite spread.
(1) 520 Grams Whole Wheat Flour (4 Cups)
(2) 1/4 Cup Honey (4 Tablespoons)
(3) 7 Grams Active Dry Yeast (About 2-1/4 teaspoons)
(4) 56.5 Grams Melted Unsalted Butter (1/4 Cup)
(5) 1/4 Cup Warm Water
(6) 1 Cup Warm Milk/Buttermilk
(7) 2 Teaspoons Salt
(8) 1 Large Egg
(9) 24 Grams Milk Powder (1/3 Cup)
First, a few notes. Feel free to use only warm water, milk or buttermilk if you like. You can also use a combination of any. Whatever liquid you choose, the important thing is to make sure that it is warm so as to enable the yeast activate faster. In place of melted butter, you can use melted margarine or shortening. But if using any of these alternatives, you will be missing out on the buttery taste. You can use 2 tablespoons of sugar in place of honey.
(1) The first step is to activate your yeast by mixing it with the warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you will notice that the yeast will begin to foam and grow. If this does not happen, your yeast is most likely dead. Try the process again or get some new yeast.
(2) In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place all the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add the wet ingredients one at a time. When the dough starts coming together, switch to your dough hook and continue kneading for about 6 minutes or till dough comes together and is smooth. This dough will not be as soft and elastic as bread dough made with bread flour, but this is to be expected as whole wheat flour has a lower gluten level than white flour.
Note: The kneading process can be done by hand. It might take a bit longer. Knead until the dough is smooth. Even if you knead the dough with a stand mixer, it is always a good practice to feel the dough with your hands after kneading. This way, you will be able to appreciate the smoothness and texture of the dough.
(3) Place kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for it to proof. This takes about 2 hours. After the proofing period, the dough would have doubled in size. Due to the lower gluten level in whole wheat flour and the heavier grain structure, the rise will not be as high as you will get with white bread.
(4) Deflate dough and shape in greased 8 by 4 inch loaf pan, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 1 hour or till the dough rises to the top of the pan. It needs to rise twice for better flavor and structure.
Learn how to shape your bread loaf here.
(5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees about 15 minutes before end of second rise. After the second rise, apply egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten) to top of bread and bake in a preheated oven for 40 – 45 mins. If the bread starts getting dark too quickly, cover with foil paper about 30 minutes into baking period.
(6) To make the bread crust soft, cover the bread with a damp kitchen towel or paper towel as soon as it comes out of the oven. Leave the towel on top the bread while the bread cools down. The towel should only be damp and not wet.
Treat yourself to some homemade whole wheat bread today.