2/3 Cup Honey, Divided
1.5 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
3 Cups of Warm Water
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Tablespoon Salt
4 Cups Unbleached, White Flour
3 - 5 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Butter (for brushing tops of loaves)
This recipe I call "fearless" because it's great for beginning bread-makers. It is almost impossible to mess up. It's a yummy bread, but if you are more experienced with making breads, I suggest that you wait for some of my more complex recipes which are richer, fuller, and more delicious.
The great thing about this bread is that it is very low in fat. Because of that, however, it is more likely to dry quickly, so be sure to eat it within a day or two! For this recipe I'll try to give detailed directions in case you haven't had the fabulous opportunity of making whole wheat bread.
First, in a large bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and 1/3 Cup of Honey. The water should be at about 110º F (45º C), although I usually add it hotter to the bowl first and then take my time putting in the honey and adding the yeast last. The idea is that you don't want to kill the yeast before it does it's magic stuff.
As you can see from the photo, I used spun clover honey. You can use regular clover honey or any honey you wish. The reason I used spun honey is because my family likes it better, so we have it around the house.
Now, immediately mix in 4 cups of unbleached flour. Mix until the flour has absorbed the water and is blended with the yeast and honey.
Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes or until it looks swollen and bubbly like the photo.
Next, add 3 tablespoons of butter, melted. Be sure that it is slightly cooled so it won't kill some of the yeast. Add another 1/3 cup of honey.
Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 cups of whole wheat flour.
Work the flour into the moisture. It should look about the texture of the photo. Sprinkle whole wheat flour on a counter surface. Place the dough in the middle. If it is too sticky, add more whole wheat flour until it is just barely not sticking to the counter top.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. To knead the bread, use the heal of your hand to press the bread away from you. Fold the dough. Rotate it 1/4 to the right and then press it again. Keep repeating.
Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl. Turn it once to coat the surface. Cover with a clean dishtowel and allow it to sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size. It took about 30 minutes at my house. Then pretend the dough is your boss or someone you don't like and punch it down. Boom! Boom! Boom!
Divide the dough into three equal portions and form them into three loaves. Place them in 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Allow them to raise until they are peeking over the tops of the pans.
Bake at 350ºF (175ºC) for 25 - 30 minutes. When you pull them from the oven all golden and brown, brush the tops lightly with butter. Slice and eat! Mmmmmm. Once you try baking bread, you are going to love it. There is nothing more comforting than the smell of baking bread and the taste of hot, fresh bread served with a cup of steaming tea.
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