Monday, April 8, 2013

Everyday Wheat Sandwich Bread

One of the things I do that I think blesses my family the most, even if they don't feel the same way, is the baking of our bread. While I LOVE and regularly bake my large batch of bread weekly, sometimes I feel like changing it up and baking a loaf that isn't 100% whole wheat. This is the loaf I choose when I feel like that.

Whole wheat baking can be a challenge. The results can be disappointing at best and better suited for masonry at worst. I'v baked my fair share of hard, lumpy, dry loaves of bread I assure you. But, after we made the purchase of a large quantity of wheat berries, I was determined to learn to use them- and use them well. No use having the berries if I can't make something edible, right? Exactly.

I didn't bake this loaf with all wheat flour today, but I have done so before and it's turned out just as well. When Enola from Paratus Familia Blog said this was wonderful wheat bread, she wasn't joking. Here is a link to her "simply perfect wheat bread" as well as a link to her more recent Versatile Wheat Berry post, which includes a Survival Cookie recipe you'll be seeing on this blog soon. I made some today and WOW! So good. More on that later, though.

I used white whole wheat flour today, but know that hard red wheat could be used as well. I prefer to grind my own flours now, so that is the first step in this process. Using my WonderMill, I milled up 4 cups of flour. I can say it again and again, but it really is true: freshly ground flours taste so amazingly good. If you ever get the chance to grind your own DO IT! You will be floored (and sometimes, if you aren't careful floured too!).

Everyday Wheat Sandwich Bread

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
Mix and add:
  • 5 cups unbleached white flour
Let sit for 30 minutes to sponge. The mixture will get bubbly and increase in volume. 

Mix in:
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cups honey (in addition to the earlier amount)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2-4 cups white wheat flour
Knead in enough flour to create a smooth dough without being too dry. Knead for 10 minutes; cover and let raise until double (about an hour). Punch down dough and shape into loaves. Place into greased 8x4 inch loaf pans and let raise until the top of the loaf raises above the edge of the pan by about 1 inch. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with melted butter for a soft, buttery crust. Yield: 3 loaves

Another bread recipe for my files that meets all of my bread criteria: Soft, light and delicious. It's just as delicious for toast or sandwiches as it is for bread pudding and french toast. Truly a wonderful wheat bread recipe, indeed!

This recipe is linked up to Little House Living's Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange


Shelby Williams said...

hope you don't mind but i gave a shout out on my blog about this recipe. i have yet to try it but hope to really soon. i don't have any honey at the moment, can i substitute sugar for the honey? should i increase the sugar to a 1/2 c instead of a 1/3 c of honey?

Charley Cooke said...

Feel free to share. I think that substitution for honey would be just fine!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to baking bread and grinding my own wheat, so I was wondering if you just used store bought unbleached white flour and ground the wheat flour portion? Or did you grind the entire amount called for in the recipe, and which wheat berries did you use?

Charley Cooke said...

Yes, when I don't do this recipe 100% whole wheat, I just use unbleached flour that I purchased at the store.

Gayle said...

Hi Charley, I've been listening to your podcasts and found my way over hear after hearing you describe this bread. I have a brand new Wondermill Jr so the podcasts have been helpful this week. I think we may live close to each other as well, I'm in Buckley. Stop by my blog sometime for a visit. I just thought I'd drop you a note and let you know I'm out there listening!
Gayle from Behind the Gate

Anonymous said...

So this makes 3 loaves? Should i separate the dough into 3 before baking?

Charley Cooke said...

Yes, it makes 3- 8x4 inch loaves. If your pans are bigger than that, you should only make 2.