Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Very Favorite Wheat Bread

I have a new favorite bread recipe. I just love this bread!! It rises so well (a bonus at the high elevation I live at) and it is soft and delicious. This recipe uses half whole wheat and half white bread flour, but I find that is the right combination for my family to really love it. Of course you can adjust the ratio of whole wheat to white bread flour to find out what is right for you and your family. Honestly, my family can't get enough of this bread and whenever I make it I have to freeze 2 of the loaves or they would all be gone the first day. There is nothing better than this bread fresh out of the oven with butter and jam. Oh so good. A great bonus is that this is a great food storage recipe as all the ingredients have long shelf lives. I bet this dough would make great rolls too, I just haven't tried that yet. I got the original recipe from Favorite Family Recipes and modified it to my tastes.

My Very Favorite Wheat Bread
-makes 3 loaves

3 cups really warm water
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons yeast (I use SAF)
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons dough enhancer
3-4 cups white bread flour

In a heavy duty stand mixer, fitted with dough hook attachment, (I have a Bosch) combine the warm water and yeast and let stand until frothy. Add shortening, honey, salt, 3 cups whole wheat flour, and dough enhancer. Mix until combined. Add white bread flour a cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, for me I used just shy of 4 cups of white bread flour. Knead with dough hook on high speed for 5 minutes.

Place dough into large greased bowl and cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a greased or floured surface (I often use non-stick spray rather than flour to roll out doughs). Knead a couple of times and then divide into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a loaf and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap. Allow to rise in pans for about 25 minutes or until the dough has doubled and reaches a little over the tops of the pans, be sure not to let them over raise.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes or until the loaves are golden on top and bottom. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Brush loaves with butter at this point if you desire. Turn out onto racks to cool at least for another 10 minutes to make slicing easier.

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