Baking your own bread makes your house smell like heaven!,’ is what my grandmother always used to say. She’s right! The aroma is so tantalizing it’s hard to wait until this bread is cool enough to cut. Make sure that you do eat a piece, spread with melted butter and a drizzle of honey, when it’s warm.
Making bread is easier than most people think. It just takes some time; time for the yeast to work, time for the flavors of the wheat to develop, and time for the dough to form its internal structure. But you don’t have to do anything while all that is going on; the dough does all the work!
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Simply follow the instructions carefully, making sure that the temperature of the warmed liquid is accurate, that you measure ingredients accurately and carefully, knead the dough for the stated amount of time, and observe doneness tests.
And remember, breads freeze very well, so if you don’t have a large family, after the loaves have completely cooled, slice one loaf, wrap well in freezer wrap or place in a ziplock freezer bag, label it, and freeze up to 6 months. You can just pull slices out of the freezer and toast them, still frozen, until they’re golden brown, crisp, and hot, ready for butter and jam. Yum.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup cracked wheat
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup all purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt and mix well. In large microwave safe glass measuring cup, place cracked wheat, milk, water, honey, and 3 Tbsp. butter. Heat on high power for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer; if it’s between 120 and 130 degrees F, add it to the flour mixture along with the egg. (You can keep microwaving the mixture if it isn’t hot enough, or if it gets too hot, let it stand, stirring occasionally, until between 120 and 130 degrees F.)
Beat dough with hand mixer for 3 minutes at medium speed. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the remaining all purpose flour until a firm dough forms. Place dough on floured surface; knead for 5-8 minutes, sprinkling with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and satiny. Clean the mixing bowl and grease it with solid shortening; then place the dough in the bowl and turn it to grease the top. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour. Generously grease two 9×5″ loaf pans with solid shortening (NOT butter).
Punch down the dough and use a knife to cut it into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece to a 14×7″ rectangle. Starting with the 7″ side, tightly roll up the dough to form a loaf. Firmly pinch the ends and seam to seal, then place, seam side dish, in prepared pans. Cover and let rise until double, about 40 minutes.
While dough is rising for the second time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake loaves for 35-45 minutes or until loaves are firm, well risen, and golden brown. Carefully remove from pans and place on wire rack. Brush the top of each loaf with 1 Tbsp. melted butter; let cool. Cut with the best bread knife for optimal aesthetics.
**Alternatively, you can make this bread in the best bread machine!
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