At my house, Monday are bread baking days. More specifically, I make the bread on Monday, but per my husband I can’t start baking it until Monday evening when he gets home because he hates missing out on the fantastic smell that baking bread fills the house with. This honey wheat bread is pure heaven from the smell of the baking to cutting the first piece. It’s not overly sweet, and it isn’t outstanding for sandwiches (it’s a bit dense – it’s great with an open-face sandwich), it’s absolutely the perfect bread for toast. During the week, I’m not into huge breakfasts and I like something fast and easy on my stomach since I go to Stroller Strides in the morning to workout, so 2 pieces of this bread with a little butter or peanut butter works really well.
The recipe yields 2 loaves and in my family we never have trouble polishing off both loaves by Sunday, but if you don’t eat as much, you could easily freeze one loaf after it’s cool. The only downside would be that you don’t get bread baking smell as often. The original recipe comes from a West Texas Girl Scout cookbook (odd since we don’t, to my knowledge, know any West Texas Girl Scouts).
Honey Wheat Bread
2 envelopes dry yeast (or 1.5T if you buy it in a jar).
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup honey
1 T salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cup warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all purpose flour
1 T butter
1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water in a mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer). Add the honey, salt, butter, and 1 3/4 cup of water. Stir together until well combined.
2. Add the whole wheat flour and mix until incorporated – I use the bread hook on my mixer. Add the flour, one cup at a time, making sure it’s completely incorporated before adding more. Stop when the dough is still a little sticky, but pulls away from the side of the bowl. Continue either kneading or letting your bread hook do the kneading until the dough forms a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl with a little oil in the bottom and swirl the dough to make sure all sides are coated. Place the bowl in a warm area of your kitchen (I turn my oven on warm and then turn it off when I put the dough in so it’s not HOT, but still warm). Allow the dough to raise until it has doubled in size – an hour or so.
4. Punch the dough down and split into two loaves. Place the dough into two greased loaf pans and allow the dough to raise in the loaf pans for another hour or two until doubled again.
5. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Rub the last T of butter over the top of the hot loaves.