You know you’ve matured when you reach for the whole-wheat bread over Wonder Bread white bread. My sister and I like to tease my mom that we *never* got to eat white bread, UNTIL our little brother (aka the baby!) was of age to start making requests. At which time Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Crunch also showed up. We tease, but it’s true! So very true!
I can honestly say, I have not bought one loaf of white bread since moving out of my parents home several years ago. Sourdough bread doesn’t count. 😉 I always buy Orowheat Whole Grain Whole Wheat bread. Why? Because that’s what my mom bought BA (before Andrew! :)). Quite honestly, whether it’s a PB&J, toasted BLT or a crisp, buttery grilled cheese – it all tastes better on whole-wheat. In my opinion.
I was inspired to try my hand at making my own bread after receiving an email from an old friend a few days back that started off, “I baked bread for the first time this afternoon and the smell of the bread baking in the oven brought back memories of your mom making those braided breads and being in your house as a kid… aw, it makes me smile!” Hearing this made me smile. 🙂 Whether you personally know me or are learning from my posts, I’m pretty sentimental and have very strong family ties. Nothing fills me with more joy than to be with my family and closest friends. When not in their company, the next best thing is to reminisce about the “good ol’ days”. Doing things that remind me of those special moments. Sharing those moments with long-time friends have created inseparable bonds. 🙂
So today, I made a few loaves of whole wheat bread!
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
3 1/2 cups warm water, 100 degrees to 110 degrees
3 tablespoons honey
2 packets active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons salt
Canola oil, for bowls, plastic wrap and pans
1. Combine warm water, honey and yeast in a large liquid-measuring cup. Stir until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups of the bread flour, the whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually drawing in the flour until well combined.
3. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead in the remaining 1/2 cup bread flour a little at a time until dough is smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Transfer to a warm place, and let rise until double its original size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in center. Brush two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with canola oil. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and punch down. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Flatten one piece of dough into an oval and roll up lengthwise. Place the roll, seam-side down, into a prepared pan. Repeat process with second piece. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Place the loaves in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes.