|Simple Wheat Loaf
As is not uncommon I woke early today. It is a curse that my father passed down to me and I hope not to pass to my own sons. Nonetheless I found myself in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to drip and thinking about what I could make that would make our Sunday morning more enjoyable. Already this weekend I had failed on a couple of experimental recipes and I wasn't up to trying something new so I decided to make a nice loaf for the family. Since I was starting at 5:00am I would have plenty of time to allow for a nice long double proof/rise cycle before the troops arrived.
3 cups of flour ( I use 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 unbleached bread flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup honey ( roughly measured )
1 cup very warm tap water
1 large egg
Time Required: 2 hours 15 minutes
1) Mix all ingredients.
The dough needs to be soft to the point of being almost sticky. For me I know I have the softness done correctly when it feels tacky but doesn't leave anything on my fingers while I am kneading it. If your dough is too hard it won't rise nicely. Too soft and you won't be able to work it. Add flour to stiffen add water to soften.
2) Kneed for several minutes. Mold into a ball shape.
3) Place ball in a slightly oiled bowl that is at least three times the size of the ball. Spray the dough with cooking spray to keep it from drying out.
4) Put bowl in a warm place. And allow to sit for about an hour.
In the winter I put it on a heating pad on low. I believe the ideal temperature is 85 degrees or so but anything over 75 seems to work well for me. The dough will expand to at least twice it's kneaded ball size.
5) Knead dough once again. This time shape it in a cylinder the length of your bread pan.
6) Place dough in oiled bread pan. Allow this to sit for another hour in a warm place. Spray cooking oil on top of dough to prevent it drying out.
7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (do not use convection setting, it will prematurely brown the top)
8) At the end of the hour your dough should be above the top of your pan. Place in hot oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
9) Pull freshly baked bread from oven. Allow it to sit on counter for 5-10 minutes before touching it again.
After this time I move the loaf to a cooling rack. Fresh baked bread has a lot of moisture in it and at 350 degrees that moisture is steam. If you leave it in the pan your crust will get soggy.
That's It! Enjoy!!
|Simple Wheat Loaf Sliced