I used to make bread all the time. In fact I never bought bread. We only ate homemade bread. I stopped that after my kids got into school and they would come home and ask if they could have store brought bread like their friends. Oh if only they knew how good they had it back then. Typically now days if I make bread dough we fry it. But we will save that for another post. Today I made some delicious Honey Wheat Bread. I love this toasted with some butter and jelly.
Honey Wheat Bread
1 T. Yeast
2 C. White Flour
3 C. Whole Wheat Flour
8 tsp, Vital Wheat Gluten
1 1/2 C. Water
3 T. Butter/Margarine
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/3 C. Honey
Mix yeast, white flour, wheat flour, and vital wheat gluten into a mixing bowl.
You don't have to use the wheat gluten but if you leave it out be prepared for a heavier more dense loaf of bread. In a saucepan on the stove top combine water, butter, salt, sugar and honey. Heat until butter is melted. Mixture should just be warm. If your liquid is too hot you will kill your yeast. I always freeze my wheat flour because I don't go through it as fast as I do white flour - so the cold flour also helps to cool down the liquid. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined. You will need to knead it together for a minute or two.
Let dough rise until double and then separate into two equal halves.
Now you can shape it into loaves. You have some options.
One is to make a split top loaf like this.
Very simple - just shape your loaf, place into a greased loaf pan and run a cut down the middle. The second option is my favorite loaf to make. A braided loaf. Separate the portion into 3 equal parts and roll 3 ropes about the length of the pan.
Join the ropes together at the top.
Now braid the 3 ropes and place into your greased loaf pan.
I like to let my loaves rise in a 200* oven
Once double in size turn the heat up and bake at 375* for about 30 minutes. The loaves will be brown and hollow sounding when you thump them when they are done. Take them out and rub some butter over the tops of each loaf.
Wait about 5 minutes and remove from pans on to a cooling rack. If you can wait let them cool...but since I have no self control I sliced some while it was still hot and let some butter melt into my serving.....yum!