Monday, May 31, 2010

Honey-Wheat Bread

1½ cups very warm water
1 pkg yeast 
½ cup honey (or molasses)
2 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt
3+ cups whole wheat flour
olive oil

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/4 cup honey. Add white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Knead (by hand or machine) with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter or sides of bowl, adding up to 1 or at most 2 cups of additional whole wheat flour. Place dough in a bowl thinly coated with olive oil, turning once to coat. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (about an hour).

Punch down, and divide into 2 loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, and allow to rise in a warm place until dough has topped the pans by about one inch (40 minutes to an hour).

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Options: Use bran flour, rye flour, ground oats, or any combination; add other nuts, grains or seeds as desired.

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