These 3 factors can alter the recipe a bit. This is why each baker in each home will have to customize and work around the base recipe keeping this in mind.
What I would like to encourage you is to practice, practice, practice. With the slower days coming ahead I’m looking forward to trying artisanal sourdough boules, baguettes and paines. Yes, baking bread can become enjoyable and therapeutic. It’s really true what you hear. There is nothing like homemade baked bread.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
In a large bowl, mix honey, butter and salt in the hot water. Let this stand and cool for five minutes.
To the cooled honey mixture, beat in 18oz or 3 cups of the whole wheat flour with the mixer on low speed until moistened, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Beat in remaining 9oz or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and the dissolved yeast. Mix in 10oz of the whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat) and knead in with your hand or a spoon until everything is incorporated.
REST FOR 10 MINUTES
This step is very important as it allows the gluten in the whole wheat to begin to expand. If you skip this step you will end up adding too much flour in the following steps creating a dry, crumbly, dense bread.
With the dough attachment set on low, knead for 8-10 minutes. If your dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl after 3 minutes, add 1 tbls at a time extra whole wheat pastry flour until it forms a ball without sticking to the bowl.
One of the things I’d like to stress…. your dough should still be tacky, sticky, soft and pliable. Adding too much flour will make a crumbly bread. So don’t overdo it.
Once the dough has finished kneading, remove from the bowl. Shape it into a ball by pulling it down into a nice firm shape. Place in an oiled bowl and brush olive oil over the dough as well.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (This phase will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house)
Once doubled, it’s time to shape your loaves.
I’ve prepared a video to show you my technique.
Once you’ve shaped your loaves, allow to rest for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and bake loaves for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10 – 12 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans; place on wire racks and cool for 30 minutes to an hour.
Once you start making bread, this process begins to become familiar and you’ll intuitively know by the feel and touch of your dough if you’ve added too much flour or not enough. It takes practice but the final results are worth it. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m not claiming to be an expert bread maker, I still have a lot of learning to do, but my family is quite happy with our home baked sandwich bread.
Best wishes on your bread making endeavors.
This post is a part of Whole Foods for the Holidays – Bread Dishes and Simple Lives Thursday