After much searching for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would be soft yet nutritious, my friend Ben shared this recipe with me. Ben and his mother have perfected over the years and given us some choices on substitutions for ingredients, which is so nice.
I think the texture and crumb are simply perfect. The dough can also be nicely worked up into individual soup rolls, though I have to say that I much prefer it as a sliced loaf. If you'd like a step-by-step show of this friend me on FB.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
From Ben Chaffee
Makes 2 loaves (8-1/2" by 5-1/2")
1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast (2-1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup water
2-1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup brown sugar (can interchange honey or molasses 1:1 for brown sugar)
3 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening*
3 cups (374 g) stirred whole-wheat flour
5 cups (663 g) stirred all-purpose white flour
- Soften active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in 1/4 lukewarm water (85°). Combine hot water, sugar, salt, and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
- Stir in whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour; beat well.
- Stir in softened yeast. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; kneed till smooth and satiny (10 to 12 minutes).
- Shape dough in a ball; place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
- Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down (or fold). Cut in two portions; shape each in smooth ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Shape into loaves.† Place them in greased 8-1/2" by 5 2-1/2" loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise till double (about 1-1/4 hours).
- Bake 375° for 45 minutes. When tapped, the bottoms of the loaves should have an almost hollow sound. Cover with foil last 20 minutes, if necessary.
*Other fats, such as vegetable oil or butter, can be used 1:1 for the shortening.
†Place dough on counter. Press out large bubbles and gently form each dough ball into a rectangle. Ensure the shortest side of the rectangle is approximately the longest size of your loaf pan (8-1/2"). Roll up the dough. Pinch the seam closed. Tuck open sides down and under. Place in loaf pan.