Thursday, December 24, 2009

honey whole wheat bread - first yeast experience successful!

honey whole wheat bread - 21I waited for my first yeast-bread experience until I got to my grandmother's, hoping she'd walk me through the process. I'm not sure why, but I've been terrified of making yeast-breads, and the thought of making one from scratch by myself never even crossed my mind. I needed someone to be there with me, going through the directions right alongside me (kind of like my first caramel-making experience). Too bad for me, my grandma hasn't made bread from scratch in more than a decade. Looks like I'll have to figure this one out for myself.

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I asked her what types of bread she likes, and she said whole wheat and honey... probably not the best/easiest recipe for a first timer, but hey, I thought I'd give it a try.

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First part wasn’t that bad. The yeast was pretty gross though; it smelt and it was scary when instantly the dough puffed up.

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Kneading was another story. Apparently grandma forgot how to knead. I basically just kept folding it over and over, it no particular fashion, just hoping for the best.

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It soon came to a dough ball, and was left to rest under a damp towel. The recipe said to leave it alone until the ball has doubled in size. We even left it on top of the stove (the oven being hot the entire time) but it took hours and hours until it rose enough.

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A crust already started to form by the time we had to separate it into two loaves, making the final crust look weird.

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The dough had to sit and rest yet again for it to rise. Next time (if there is ever another next time) I think I'd just separate it into the loaf tins sooner, so a hard funky crust doesn't form.

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The following day we tried the bread. One loaf was a regular sized muffin tin, and the other was a half-recipe (because that's how the recipe was divided from the website I got it from).

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I'm actually surprised it came out.

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It was fine even toasted by itself.

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I definitely will have to try this again in the future (different recipe though).

Taken from All Recipes.

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F) (grandma even used a thermometer, lol)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Makes 3 loaves. (we halved the recipe to get 1 regular size loaf, and 1 mini load)

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