I've recently tried out bread-making as a hobby, and I love it! It's so cozy, affordable, and very functional. It's fun to make bread with your own hands, have one less thing to buy at the grocery store, and enjoy the homemade goodness all week long!
Today I'm sharing my favorite bread recipe, which is a simple and healthy honey wheat bread. It works great for sandwiches, toast, or just enjoying a slice straight out of the oven! It's a very soft loaf, which is great because homemade bread can sometimes turn out crumbly. The honey also adds a nice complementary flavor level to the dense whole grain taste.
(Disclaimer: I ended up using white flour when I made the bread this time, but either whole wheat or white work very well! You can even opt for a half and half mixture.)
A smaller, printable version of this recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. If you want to see detailed step-by-step instructions with photos though, read through the post first. Let's get started!
First, gather all the ingredients:
The first step is to combine the water, yeast, and 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir it to combine well. It's okay if there are some lumps.
Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes, until it rises and becomes quite bubbly. This process is called sponging!
Here is what my mixture looked like after 20 minutes.
Now it's time to add the rest of the ingredients. I set my bowl in the KitchenAid mixer, then added the honey, oil, salt, and remaining 4 cups of flour.
Next, mix it all up! The flour might try to jump out right away, so start on a low speed setting.
Once all the elements are nicely combined, it's time to knead the dough!
Did you know you can actually use a KitchenAid mixer for kneading? If you choose to do it this way, switch to a dough blade. You'll stir the dough for 6-7 minutes, adding flour a small amount at a time if it starts sticking to the sides of the bowl.
If you opt for kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
After kneading for 6 1/2 minutes with the mixer, I noticed my dough was still too sticky and soft. So, I turned the dough out onto the counter and added some flour, then kneaded it in with my hands.
Once your dough is kneaded, split it into two sections.
Now it's time to get the loaves shaped! This is the part where you could go two ways. The simpler way is to use your hands to form the dough into loaves, then set them in the pans. You can skip straight to the rising process if you do this.
If you want to try something new, you can try this method I just learned! I've found that this helps the bread turn out beautifully tall and fluffy. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a rectangle shape. The rectangle should be just as wide as your loaf pan is long. To measure this, I set my loaf pan at the end of the dough as I roll it.
Your dough should be about half an inch to an inch thick when you're done rolling it out. Then, starting at one end, start rolling the dough in a spiral shape. After each turn of the roll, press down firmly on top of the roll. This is important to ensure there won't be gaps on the inside of the loaf.
When you're done rolling, turn each end under itself, and set the dough in a greased loaf pan.
Do this for each loaf, then cover with a thin cloth and allow to rise for about 60 minutes. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may need to rise for 15 minutes longer. The dough should be risen to about 1 1/2 inches above the edge of the pan.
The rising process is so amazing! I love seeing how the dough changes in such a short amount of time.
One reason I love this recipe is that it only requires one rise (other than the 20 minute rise in the beginning). This makes the entire process much faster than other bread recipes.
About 10 minutes before the loaf is fully risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Then it's time to bake the bread!
Bake for 30 minutes. You can switch the loaves halfway through baking if you're worried about getting an even bake, but I've never had a problem with that. I just leave them alone for 30 minutes, and they turn out beautifully!
Immediately after removing the pans from the oven, run a butter knife along the edges to loosen the loaf. Turn the pans upside down to release the bread onto a cooling rack (or a cutting board, if you don't happen to own a cooling rack).
The original recipe said to let the bread cool completely before cutting, but who are we kidding? That is not necessary.
You can see the swirly pattern in the bread from the rolling technique! So neat!
Also, the bread is heavenly on its own, but add butter? Yessss please.
And that's it! Like I said, this post was for a class project, but I really enjoyed making it. I would consider sharing some other favorite recipes in the future, since I love cooking. I hope you love this bread if you decide to try it out!
The original recipe for this bread was found at https://anoregoncottage.com/whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-101/2/
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Follow me on social media for post updates!