This month my assignment was Jen's Journey. I loved looking through Jen's blog and reading about everything that she has overcome over the years. I spent several hours reading and searching for my recipe. I haven't made bread lately and with the cold weather, I knew it would be perfect timing since I was also making soup (recipe to come later this week). Who doesn't love soup and bread on a snowy, winter day?
This recipe makes two loaves of bread but it was perfect to freeze one and enjoy the other right away. I loved the texture of this bread and it was a heavier bread that I usually make, but it was perfect addition to soup. Thanks Jen for getting me back in the kitchen, making bread and experimenting with the proof feature on my new oven!
2 packages regular active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
3 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups very warm water (120-130 degrees F)
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cups ap flour
Dissolve yeast in the 1/4 cup of warm water in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Once dissolved, add in the honey, softened butter, salt, 2 1/2 cups water and 3 cups of whole wheat flour. Using a dough hook, combine on low for one minute. Once combined, beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes and then add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and mix until combined.
Starting with 2 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, combine with the whole wheat dough until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add in another 1/2 cup of flour and continue kneading the dough until the dough is smooth.
In a greased bowl, turn the dough around the bowl to cover all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 40 minutes or until it's doubled in size. When the dough has doubled in sized, grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Gently punch the dough to deflate the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Shape the dough into loaves and place into the greased pans. Cover and allow to rise for another 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan immediately and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely and then slice, butter and dig in!