He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

29 May 2011

{Whole Wheat Honey Bread}

So I'm going to completely reinvent the wheel here but 100% of the credit goes to Heavenly Homemakers. She even has pictures of the process but I guess I got trigger happy and snapped a few pictures of my experience with it. Seriously though, this is her recipe. Not mine.
Just thought you should know.
Also... I LOVE this recipe. I have made it several times since the first time I tried it. It makes two loaves so I freeze one and we use the other for sandwiches and toast. I haven't had to buy store bread in months!
So here goes...

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
What You'll Need:
6 c (give or take) whole wheat flour, divided
{if you're new to whole wheat, you may want to try 4 cups whole wheat, 2 cup white, first to get used to the taste of pure whole wheat. The white helps it rise better too if you don't want a dense loaf. I've tried it with all measurements of flour and have been happy with the flavor every time.}
1 ¾ c warm water, divided
1/3 c honey
1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
1 t sea salt
3 T melted butter

What To Do:
Mix 3 cups of whole wheat flour with 1 ½ cups of warm water in a large glass bowl.  Allow this to sit for about 30 minutes.  This will break down the gluten and help the bread to rise better.
In a small bowl mix together ¼ cup water, 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast and 1/3 cup honey.  Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and mixture becomes bubbly.
In the meantime, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  You don’t want the hot butter to kill the yeast.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, melted butter and yeast mixture to the flour and water mixture.  Gradually add the remaining three cups of flour and stir well.  As the dough becomes harder to stir, pour it out onto a clean counter and begin to knead the dough.  If you create a nice dough before adding all three cups of flour…you don’t need to continue to add it in.  Just add enough to make a nice, non-sticky dough.
Once you’ve kneaded your dough, place it into a bowl, cover the dough with a cloth, and let it rise for at least one hour or until it has risen to twice  it’s starting size.
While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, get two bread pans buttered...
Once it has risen, give the raised dough a nice punch. 
{hello, post preggo belly!}
Knead for three or four minutes until the air bubbles are all gone.
With a sharp knife, cut dough in half, shape into two loaves and place into buttered pans. 
Cover and allow 30 minutes to one hour to rise again.  They should double in size, but the rising should happen more quickly this time because the yeast knows what to do by now.
Bake the bread uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when you thump the top of it.
Allow the bread to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove it to finish cooling on a wire rack.
MMM! So good! 

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