I disliked whole wheat bread as a kid. I remember making faces at my lunch and opting to go hungry, even if the two slices of whole wheat Wonder Bread sandwiched a comforting combination of peanut butter and jam. No thanks, I’d rather eat [scarily] soft white Wonder Bread, thank you very much (sorry Mom).
A few years later, as if to balance for my whole wheat-shunning karma, I was in a banana bread baking phase when flour went on sale at a local supermarket. Why buy white all-purpose flour when you could buy whole wheat flour? You would feel less guilty about eating banana bread, or eat more slices. (Take your pick.) While we’re at it, why buy 5 lbs of whole wheat flour for $3.99, when you could buy 20 lbs on sale for $5.99? Guess what I hauled home that day.
Many homemade paperweights and bricks later – “don’t worry honey, mmm… it’s not so bad when you toast it, and the birds will always eat what’s left” – I came to the brilliant realization that you can’t just completely substitute whole wheat for all-purpose. You have to treat the big WW with lots of respect and give it some yeasty love, and then it will reward you with an awesome loaf in return. In celebration of the wonders of whole wheat and whole grains in general, Jude of Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté is hosting BreadBakingDay#13 – 100% Whole Grains.
This is a simple yet delicious loaf of honey wheat bread a.k.a. pan de trigo y miel, minimally adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe. The honey wheat flavour pairs extremely well with everything I’ve tried, plus everything my labmates have tried. It’s fantastic yeasted goodness that will change the way you think about whole wheat bread. I, for one, don’t really like “white bread” anymore.
Simple Honey Wheat Bread
From King Arthur Flour’s Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Makes one loaf
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup*
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
*Note: I have used both honey and molasses. My favourite is with honey but it could just be that I’m not used to eating anything with molasses in it. I’m sure it will be just as good with maple syrup, whether the maple syrup is from Canada or Vermont.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk. This will take about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it to fit your pan. The KAF recipe calls for an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan but I only have 9 x 5-inch pans and they work for me. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for about 30 to 60 minutes, or until it’s crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350F oven for about 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature if you manage to restrain yourself from eating it all in one sitting.
Tags: whole wheat