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Everett, WA, United States
I love trying new recipes and baking for my friends and family.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Adventures with Bread!

A couple weeks ago I tried something I have always wanted to do... bake my own bread! I have always been a little scared to try this because of the kneading and the yeast and the rising time. It definitely took a little time and is more of a weekend project, but it was worth it! I made my own bread and I'm so proud!

I used a basic recipe for honey wheat bread found here.

Honey Wheat Bread
2 cups warm water (110)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all-purpose flour

The first step is to activate the yeast. I heated 2 cups of water in the microwave in 30 second intervals and measured the temperature until it reached 110. Because this was my first time baking bread, I wanted to be careful so I was sure that I was doing it right!

Yeast before
Yeast after "activating" for a few minutes in the warm water
After the yeast has dissolved into the warm water, add the honey and stir well. Mix in the whole wheat flour, salt, and oil. Work the all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

For this process, I brought out the dough hook attachment for my Kitchenaid. I have never used this before, so clearly I was very excited.
Once I added all the flour, however, the dough had too much volume for my poor mixer to handle all at once. I decided to divide up the work, so I kneaded half while I let half work around in the Kitchenaid, then I switched. Finally, I put both halves of the dough together and kneaded the rest by hand. This kneading business is hard work. It is different from kneading pie crust or sugar cookie dough. Bread dough is tough and it takes some serious muscle to knead! I kind of liked it, though. I felt strong and found a new respect for my grandma and great-grandma. I definitely got my upper-body workout for the day!

Once the dough has been kneaded, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in size.

Here is my dough after 2 hours:
Shape the dough into two loaves and place into two well-greased loaf pans. Allow to rise again, until dough is 1 - 1 1/2 inches above the edge of the pans.

I forgot to take a picture of the bread after it rose again, but after and hour or so, it doubled in size! Before I popped the bread in the oven, I brushed the top with an egg white mixed with a tablespoon of water and I sprinkled with some wheat bran.

Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes until internal temperature of bread reaches 200.

I did it! I made my own bread! I have to say it tastes pretty good. I froze one of the loaves and we have been using the bread the last 2 weeks. Next time, I am going to branch out with some different add-ins and flavors. This was a good first step for me, though. An added bonus is that fresh baked bread makes the house smell wonderful!

Homemade wheat bread makes good sandwiches...
And french toast!

1 comment:

  1. YUM! That makes me want to try making bread! It sounds so lovely.