Saturday, June 17, 2006

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This is one of Susan Purdy's no-fail bread recipes. It's a variation on her Boulder white bread recipe from Pie in the Sky. With a few simple changes, this recipe makes a delicious honey whole wheat bread, which I know you all want. So here's the recipe"

2 1/8 teaspoons dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted melted butter
1 teaspoon plus one pinch salt
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, the warm water, and sugar. Stir and set aside for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles start to appear. In a small sauce pan, combine the milk, 1/2 cup water, butter, salt, and honey. Set over low heat till mixture feels warm — 120 degrees — and bubbles appear in the sides of the pan. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and let cool to 110 degrees or until comfortable to the touch. Stir in 2 cups of the AP flour and then the yeast. Beat hard for several minutes using the paddle attachment. Continue to slowly add the rest of the AP flour and the WW flour until the dough starts to come together and looks stretchy. At this point, you can use the dough hook attachment or knead your dough by hand. Eventually, the dough will look smooth and satiny and no longer feel sticky (3-4 minutes). Now place the dough into a lightly oiled, gallon-sized ziplock bag and let it rise 45-50 minutes or until doubled in size (I put it on a sheet pan in my turned off oven (draft free) with a pan of hot water in a pan below it).

Once it has risen, take it out of the bag and punch it down and knead it a few times. Return it to the oiled bag for the second rise, 40-45 minutes. Now punch down the dough again and shape the loaf. Form it into an 8 x11 inch rectangle. Roll it up into a log 3 1/2 x 8 inches and pinch the seams and ends to seal. Set the dough seam side down in an oiled loaf pan and cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap. Let dough rise for the last time 20 minutes. It will not double this time. Don't worry!

Preheat oven to 425. Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Brush the loaf with 2 tablespoons of milk and bake for 15 minutes then lower the oven to 350 and bake for 18-20 minutes more until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on wire rack. You could also add raisins and some cinnamon, yum!