Me encanta tu pancito!

Simple honey wheat bread

Simple honey wheat bread

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.

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

Ingredients

- 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. ;)

Directions

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.

This is what happens when I try to excise the loaf from the pan before it’s ready to. Buttering the pan or using more parchment paper probably would have helped.

Last month’s BreadBakingDay#12 – Small Breads was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The roundup can be found here and here, which includes my whole wheat cinnamon raisin buns.

As always, I’m sending this honey wheat bread to Yeastspotting, kindly hosted by bread baker extraordinaire Susan of Wild Yeast.

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18 Responses to “Me encanta tu pancito!”

  1. Jude Says:

    I was also a crustless wonderbread addict way back.
    Honey is always great with whole wheat flour. The maple syrup idea sounds really interesting, too.

  2. em Says:

    Looks great! I’m curious about the honey-whole wheat pairing…does the honey taste really shine through? Does it interfere with taste of any sandwich filling you might use?
    I like whole wheat better than scary white bread, too!!

    P.S…what does ‘me encanta tu pancito’ mean?

  3. toxobread Says:

    Jude,
    I love the combination of honey and whole wheat, but I don’t think I should give up on molasses quite yet. I’ve bookmarked your whole grain anadama bread and will give it a shot.

    Em,
    I’ve heard the primary use of sweetener i.e. honey, molasses or maple syrup is to offset the “bitterness” of whole wheat. I like to think it’s to complement the nutty and “toothsome” flavour. Either way, it’s not a sweet bread by any means compared to, say, challah or cinnamon raisin bread. You can use it for both sweet (jam?) and savoury (cold cuts?) fillings.
    “Me encanta tu pancito!” literally means “I love your little bread!” in Spanish. One of the postdocs in my lab says this is her favourite Jackie-bread and ate nearly half of the first loaf I baked… which says a lot. Along the same lines, pan de trigo y miel is Spanish for “bread of honey and wheat, or honey wheat bread.”

  4. chop chop a to z Says:

    Hi! I came here through Foodgawker. Your bread looks yummy. I love whole wheat bread.

  5. toxobread Says:

    Hi Van! Thanks for the compliment. I love whole wheat bread too!

  6. Bharti Says:

    Hello…first time at ur blog. I grew up on white bread too. Now it tastes so bland and blah- like nothing! Your bread looks divine.

  7. Susan/Wild Yeast Says:

    What a beautiful whole wheat bread. Thanks for showing that ww doesn’t have to be a paperweight!

  8. YeastSpotting September 5, 2008 | Wild Yeast Says:

    […] Simple Honey Wheat Bread ~ Toxo Bread […]

  9. toxobread Says:

    Thanks Susan!
    …and not only does whole wheat not have to be a paperweight, but it can be very moist and flavourful as well!

  10. Bread Baking Day 13: 100% Whole Grains Roundup! | Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté Says:

    […] Simple Honey Wheat Bread Put away the Wonder Bread and eat something more substantial. By Jacqueline of Toxo Bread (Burlington, VT, USA) […]

  11. zorra Says:

    I still prefere white breads, but now I’m on the “right” way. Thanks to Jude and you. ;-)

  12. The Topiary Lady Says:

    This looks really good. I’ve been looking for a good ww bread to make for my kids. I’m going to try it!! thanks!

    http://www.thetopiarylady.blogspot.com

  13. toxobread Says:

    Heh heh I think each person has his or her own preferences and that’s completely okay. In fact, I know more people who love white bread more than whole wheat. I guess I just haven’t come across that magical “white sandwich bread” recipe yet – but I do love challah! – or maybe I am a whole wheat girl at heart.

  14. toxobread Says:

    Hi Hannah a.k.a. Topiary Lady,
    This is my favourite whole wheat sandwich bread recipe that I’ve come across so far. Happy baking and let me know how it goes!

  15. Iheart2cook Says:

    ABSOLUTELY Delicious, stumbled across your recipe on Foodgawker, made it this evening and it is honestly the best tasting WW bread!

    Thank you…

  16. toxobread Says:

    Iheart2cook: Agreed! It completely caught me off guard just how good this loaf was, and all I did was follow the recipe on the back of the bag of flour. I’m so happy to hear that you decided to make this WW bread and that it turned out beautifully for you.

    I’ve also made this with 1/4 cup of chopped apples and some oatmeal thrown in for an apple-and-oats honey whole wheat bread, which turned out well too. Simple, delicious and versatile = excellent bread!

  17. lucysmom Says:

    I made this this weekend because it seemed simple and it was. I was kind of sad how it turned out though. It was super dense. I don’t know what I did wrong or if that is just the nature of the recipe. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great and is super moist, just thought it would be a little different in texture.

  18. toxobread Says:

    Hi lucysmom: Thanks for trying this recipe out; I’m sorry that it didn’t turn out as well as you would have liked.

    I’m puzzled as to why yours turned out super dense! I’m not sure if this will help, but the dough tends to be on the sticky side. If you’re used to kneading “other” dough that’s soft and slightly tacky, this will be stickier than what you would be used to. At this point I leave it the way it is, keep kneading as best as I can and don’t add any extra flour. My guess is that somehow there may have been too much flour added (in proportion to water) and that made the loaf more dense than it should be.

    If you have a scale, KAF says the 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour should weigh around 14 oz, so measuring by weight instead of volume will be a more accurate way to go.

    Hope these ideas help! Sorry again that it didn’t work for you; please do let me know if you decide to try it again, and best of luck for a lighter (but equally wonderful tasting) loaf of honey whole wheat bread!

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