The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


crumbbum's picture

ooooo, look! I figured out how to do thumbnails that link to the photobucket fullsize images! click the pictures.

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
single 9x5 loaf

2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. instant yeast (or one 1/4-ounce packet)
1 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten (if you've got it)

mix these dry ingredients together.

heat to 120F:
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey

alternately, use 1 cup warm water and add 1/3 cup powdered milk to the dry ingredients.

add the liquids to your dry flour/yeast mixture and blend until evenly incorporated.

work 2 cups white bread flour, a cup at a time, into the dough. it should begin to hold together after this. if you're using a mixer, you can continue with that process, or turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead until the flour is incorporated and you have a smooth ball of dough. it will be slightly tacky, but shouldn't stick to the surface or your hands.

grease a bowl, plop the dough ball into it, and turn it so it gets 'buttered all over', cover it with a kitchen towel, and set it to rise until doubled in bulk. depending on your ambient temperature, it could take 1-3 hours.

when it's doubled, punch it down in the bowl, and turn it out onto a floured work surface. knead it a few minutes to work out the bubbles, add a little flour if it sticks to your hands, but this dough probably won't need it. flatten it out into a rectanglish-shape with your hands or a rolling pin, and roll it up tightly as you can, pinching the closing seams together, tucking the ends in if need be, and set to rise (covered) in a greased loaf pan. the second rise goes much faster, again, depending on ambient temperature, 30-60 minutes is typical.

preheat your oven to 375F, and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350F for an additional 30 minutes. keep watch on it, I think my oven runs about 25 degrees hot. if everything goes well, it should just roll out of the loaf pan when tipped on its side. cool it on a rack, resting on its bottom, and the rack will leave cutting guides for you.

I used wheat germ this time because I had it on hand. I used to make it with cracked wheat, or wheat 'berries' that had been soaked in warm water to soften a bit. I'm guessing that was about 2 tablespoons in quantity.
Measures are approximations--nothing is to panic about as long as you're in the ballpark.
If you coat the top crust with melted butter or margarine while it's hot, it will stay soft. the advantage to this is that slicing the bread won't crush the loaf. Slice the loaf laying on one side--it's a deterrent to crushing, and it exposes the cutting guides you made on the bottom of the loaf.

Floydm's picture

of the pain poolish was excellent too. It wasn't as pretty, but it still tasted great.

crumbbum's picture

Let's see if I can figure this out. Old dogs and new tricks don't always work.

here's the recipe I sorta followed.

the night before
1/2 cup starter
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup water

in the morning
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

just before starting
1/4 tsp. baking soda

this recipe says it makes 18 very large hotcakes, so since there was just myself and a hungry shark teenage boy, I cut things down and we ended up with 8-9 hotcakes, about 6-7 inches across. I'm assuming everybody knows how to cook hotcakes.

my recipe for 2 hungry people, not for a ravenous horde goes like this:

1/2 cup starter
3/4 to 1 cup flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 to 3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda

they were good. we liked them so much we made them again the next day.

Floydm's picture

This weekend I made bagels, pain au raisin, cream cheese snails, and pain poolish.

Bagels and snails were pretty easy. I'll post the snails recipe soon. The bagel recipe is here.

We ate one of the two pain poolish loaves last night. It was excellent. It'll be interesting to compare the other one to it tonight: I was pretty rough shaping the one we ate last night. It came out a beautiful dark brown. The other loaf I did not work as hard while shaping. It came out pretty pale. I suspect that that one may have been a little "over the hill" and would have benefited from being worked harder.

Once I get the pain poolish down I will post a recipe too.


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