Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Heart Whole Wheat Bread.

On Christmas I received bread pans! Three in fact. Perfect! Since being back in Toronto I have been sort of obsessed over baking bread. There's many reasons why you should bake your own bread.
1. It's cheap
2. It's easy
3. It's healthy or healthier
4. Fresh baked bread tastes incredible
5. The smell! To have your whole place smell like a bakery is just THE BEST!!!

I was under the impression that making your own bread was rather difficult and time consuming, when in fact, it's the opposite. I know that it takes anywhere between 1 hour to like 5 days to make a loaf of bread, but there's very little work involved. Most of the time is spent unattended. I also discovered how a food processor is the best for making the dough in. Seriously, food processors are incredible. Over the past few weeks I have made white breads, whole wheat breads and cinnamon raisin breads. My fave...the whole wheat. It's plain, I know, but oh so useful. Fresh out of the oven you could lather it in butter and jam, or even just butter. Or garlic and butter and eat with pasta! Have it for breakfast lunch or with supper. Mmmmmmm. Anyway, you get what I'm saying. It's also the one I have mastered. So from here, I will branch out making different kinds involving seeds and flax and oats and who knows what else...maybe poppy seeds?! And as I master other types, I will post the recipes as well.

Okay so what you're gonna need is:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (or a bit more) honey
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1 to 1 1/3 cups warm milk

Now place flour, salt and yeast in the food processor. Mix for about 10 seconds. Then while the food processor is still mixing, put down the shoot the butter, honey and milk. Then mix for another 30 to 40 seconds. The dough should be barely sticky. If it's too dry, add milk about a tablespoon at a time and then mix for another 10 seconds...or add flour if it's too dry (very unlikely). Now take it out and knead it for a few minutes. Grease a large bowl with oil or butter. Shape the dough in to a ball and then place in the greased bowl.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place the bowl in a warmish place...maybe need a radiator or heat vent. Let the dough rise for 6-12 hours.

Then deflate the ball of dough and reform back into a ball and let sit on a lightly floured counter top for 15-20 minutes.

From there, pat down the dough into a rectangle shape.

Place in a oiled or buttered bread pan and pat down with the back of your hand.

Then cover with a damp towel and let sit for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the top of the loaf lightly with water. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. It's done when if you tap the bottom of the pan it sounds hollow. Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes or more before you eat the best bread ever.

This is a very forgiving recipe, so if you want to let it rise longer at either rising point, go ahead, or if you don't have time to let it rise so long, don't worry. Just remember, the longer it rises, the more flavourful and fluffy it will be. If you want to let it slow rise for up to 5 days, just put it in the fridge.
Good luck!


McLaren said...

NICE WORK, WOMAN! I have always been so intimidated by baking bread!! I can't wait to try this eventually!

Missing you like never before. xoxo

C.E. said...

Baked bread today for the first time! I thought of you and of my grandmother who use to bake her 12 loaves a week for the family. It turned out amazing. We couldn't wait the 15 minutes to cool it though and dug right in. Also, I only let it rise for a total of two hours, but I did a lot of kneading in between. I kind of like the kneading part.