Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

I've been cooking a lot of bread recently, but for anyone who is a bit too intimidated by creating a starter, here is a really simple and delcious bread recipe you can try.  Get your feet wet and maybe after you've made some delicious loaves of bread, you'll be ready to be a bit more adventurous.  If not, this bread is amazing anyway.

Yeast is a single cellular organism (a type of fungus) responsible for some of our most delicious things like beer and bread. Yeast is the leavening agent (which makes the bread rise). It converts sugars into carbon dioxide.  Yeast also produces alcohol and maltose (malt sugar, what is used in beer) which makes your bread taste yummy!

Bread is actually very easy to make, but it does require some time because you need to let it sit so the little yeasts can do their magic. This recipe took me about 4 hours, but less than an hour of that was actual work.  Most bread recipes call for at least two risings, one before shaping the loaves and one after.  Some recipes call for two risings before shaping the loaves.  This will depend on the ingredients.  The more sugar in the dough, the faster the yeast will grow because sugar is easier to break down.  More sugar means you need to let it rise less.

Yeast works with gluten to make the bread rise.  Gluten is a type of protein which traps the carbon dioxide and expands, making those little air pockets.  Gluten is formed by two other proteins.  Kneading the bread helps create gluten.  It is also a good form of stress release.

Kneading is very easy.  You want to build up strands of gluten that are long and elastic.  You never want to break the dough up.  I use my right hand to push the dough away from me and flatten it out.  Then I use my left hand to fold it in half and turn it 90 degrees.  You'll figure out the smoothest way for you.
Once you're done kneading you can let the dough rise and take a break.  The trick to telling if dough is finished rising or not is to poke two holes in it with your fingers.  If the dough keeps the shape of the holes it is good to go, if not it needs more time.

To get really pretty, even loaves you want to shape the dough, not just throw it in the pan.  The best way to do this is to flatten it into a rectangle.

And then roll it up, starting on the short end.
Pinch the seam closed and place it in the pan seam side down.
I love baking bread.  Although it takes time, the actual work is pretty easy and it is so much better than almost any bread you get at the store.  Seeing the bread rise is like magic, well actually it is science but sometimes it is hard to tell the different.
I like to make a few slices in the top of my bread.  This does not do anything important except for make my bread look pretty, not to imply that pretty looking bread isn't important.
Now you get to cook your bread.  You may want to know how to tell if the bread is done.  The trick that I know is to turn the bread over and tap it on the bottom and it should sound hollow.  Usually you can tell by looking at it though, when it is beautiful and golden brown.

Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsps). instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup water
1 egg

1. Mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup wheat flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.
2. Place milk, hony, butter, and water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until the liquid is warm but not hot.
3. Add milk mixture and egg to flour mixture. Stir until combined.
4. Add remaining whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.  The dough should be pretty stiff.
5. Turn out on a well floured board.  Knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Keep adding flour as the dough gets sticky, up to 1/2 cup more.
6. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat.  Cover.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
7. Punch dough down.  Shape into a rectangle.  Start on the short side and roll-up.  Pinch the edges to form a seam.
8. Place dough, seam side down in a well-greased loaf pan.
9. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or more.  Lightly make 3-4 diagonal cuts in the top.
10. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown.
Recipe from Cooks.com

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  1. Oh man, totally trying this this weekend!

  2. This looks like it turned out PERFECTLY!

  3. Sierra - I never heard if you successfully taught B about making bread?

    Rula - it did. It was super delicious. And then i made it into french toast with fresh peaches. Maybe I will have to make another loaf and we can make sandwiches and go on a hike when you are in town!