Perfect crust. Just delicious. It is so simple and pure I can't believe I've been settling for packaged bread all this time (even Trader Joe's doesn't compare!) I'm thinking I am going to go out and buy some flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sprouted wheat berries, etc that are all in my favorite TJ's California High Protein Bread and make it homemade as a treat next time I go shopping. I think it will end up being cheaper and if it tastes anything like the wheat bread I made last night it will be worth the 3 hours it takes to bake. So, as usual when I am looking for a basic recipe, I went to one of my favorite cookbooks, Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything". Under his Sandwich Bread recipe there is a substitution for Whole Wheat Bread... he recommends adding 1-3 tbs honey and subsituting half of the white flour for whole wheat flour. Instead of doing half and half like he suggested, I made my bread with 100% whole wheat flour because according to the challenge I am not allowed to eat white flour. Honestly, I haven't really had a problem with this rule because I prefer wheat to white anyway.
Here's the recipe (adapted from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, pg. 228 Sandwich Bread)
Nutrishus Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (c) Patricia Doheny 2011
3 1/2 cups 100% Whole Wheat Flour ( I used Trader Joe's Brand aka Baker Giotto's)
2 tsps salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tbs honey
2 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature if you're working by hand, plus more for greasing the bowl
1 1/3 cups cool milk (I used organic skim)
Place flour in food processor, add salt and yeast and process for 5 seconds. While the machine is running add honey, softened butter, and most of the milk through the feed tube. Process about 30 seconds, then remove to cover. The dough should be in a well-defined, barely sticky, easy-to-handle ball. If it is too dry, add 1 tbs milk at a time and process for 5 or 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet, add a tbs or two of flour and process briefly. Knead for a minute or so by hand.
Use half the oil or melted butter to grease a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel (I used a damp towel because we're out of plastic wrap). Let rise for at least 2 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk. Deflate the ball and shape it once again into a ball; let rest on a lightly floured surface or on countertop, for about 15 minutes, covered.
Using only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, flatten it into a rectangle, then shape it into a loaf (see below for instructions, pg. 229). Click picture to enlarge.
Use the heel of your hand to shape it into a rectangle. Fold over long sides of the rectangle to the middle. Pinch seam together tightly with your fingers. Fold under the ends of the loaf. Use the back of your hand to press loaf firmly into the pan.
Use the remaining oil or butter to grease a 9x 5 inch loaf pan. Place the loaf in the pan, flattening the top of it with the back of your hand as shown in Step 5, below. Cover and let rest for 1 hour, or until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Brush the top of the loaf lightly with water, then place in the oven. Bake about 45 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it (it will fall easily from the loaf pan) or the internal temperature reads about 200 Degrees F. Remove loaf from pan and cool on wire rack before slicing. (adapted from Bittman).
Now how delicious does this look?!?!?!?! Yum.
See next post for a delicious french toast recipe (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything. Hoboken: Wiley, 1998. Print.