Perfect Whole Wheat Bread


How do YOU reuse your paper bags??? I keep my bread fresh.

After taking a visit to Great Harvest Bread Co., my favorite bakery and a place that you should go to if you’ve never been before, I had a bread making urge. For once it came out absolutely flawlessly. It was probably because, for once, I didn’t try to cut calories or accommodate for my celiac mother (or both at the same time). I adapted this recipe from Bernard Clayton’s recipe for honey lemon whole wheat bread. —adapted because I ran out of whole wheat flour (in a celiac house you don’t keep much on hand) and then I decided to get creative. NOTE ON THE HONEY: There’s a lot of controversy about the consumption of honey in the vegan community. In short, local farm=good happy bees, and commercially manufactured=extinction of bees….more info here.
Recipe:
3 C. unbleached bread flour
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1 T salt
1/4 C honey
3 T vegetable shortening
1 T lemon zest
2 1/4 C hot water
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C wheat germ
1/2 C 100% whole wheat flour
1/2 C spelt flour (white or whole)
vegetable oil to brush
By hand:
Combine 2C all purpose flour, undissolved yeast and salt in large bowl. stir well to blend.
Add honey, lemon peel, and oleo.
Add hot tap water all at once.
Beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes. Scrape bowl occasionally.
Add 1 cup whole wheat flour. Beat with electric mixer at high speed for 1 minute, or until thick and elastic. Scrape bowl occasionally.
Stir in remaining 1 cup whole wheat flour with spoon. Then gradually stir in just enough remaining all purpose flour to make a soft dough that leaves the side of the bowl. Turn onto floured board; round up into ball.
Knead 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and then with towel. Let rest 20 minutes then punch down.
Bread machine:
Place ingredients in machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Use the dough setting only. Check dough occasionally during the rise. The dough will rise significantly due to the amount of yeast. Reminder: this is a recipe for two loaves, check your machine capacity. I forgot about this, and my dough was practically trying to escape from the machine, and I ended the rise cycle 20 minutes early.

Continue:

Divide dough into two equal portions.
Roll each portion into an 8X12″ rectangle. Roll up tightly into loaves starting on the 8″ side. Seal lengthwise, edge and ends. Tuck ends under.
Place in greased 8-1/2 X 4-1/2 X 2-1/2″ loaf pans (Correct pan size is important for best results.)
Brush surface of dough with oil. Cover pans loosely with wax paper, and then with plastic wrap–allow room for A LOT of rising.
Refrigerate 2-24 hours at moderately cold setting. When ready to bake remove from refrigerator, uncover.
Let stand 10 minutes while preheating oven to 400°.
Puncture any surface bubbles with oiled toothpick just before baking.
Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, or until done. Bake on lower rack for best results.
Remove from pans immediately. Brush top crust with butter if you like soft crust. Cool on racks.
Makes 2 loaves

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