I have been making bread for about two years now. Store bought bread is actually pretty terrible for you. pick up a loaf of bread that ISN'T in the organic section (you can buy from the organic section, but most of them are over $5 and taste like cardboard) and look at the ingredients. can you pronounce HALF of what is in there? No? Does this concern you at all? Maybe you shouldn't be putting all that crap into your body. Just saying...
I make all different types of bread, sourdough, white, whole wheat, french, ciabatta, artisan, etc. I LOVE my artisan and french bread recipes and have a lot of trouble with sandwich bread. Sandwich bread is really hard to get right unless you have a bread maker, but I don't have THAT much counter space (that isn't already being taken up by the kitchen aid mixer, massive George Forman grill we got six years ago for our wedding, coffee maker, an other various kitchen appliances i take down from the cabinet when i need them, which lately is quite often). I looked an looked and looked for a recipe that would give the nice solid exterior of sandwich bread with the fluffy interior that we all love so much. Today my search has come to an end!
The other day I ran into a friend of mine at the grocery store and spent about 20 minutes or so shopping together. I knew I had to switch to the whole wheat flour but wasn't quite sure which one. I was considering going for the organic, but at the moment we are on a strict budget when it comes to ....well... everything. She mentioned to me that the King Arthur flour often has coupons. Considering it's not very expensive to begin with, a coupon would make it close to the price I already pay for regular unbleached flour. YAY!
The King Arthur flour site has awesome recipes! While searching for a recipe that would be acceptable for the 10 day challenge I stumbled upon this gem http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/vermont-whole-wheat-oatmeal-honey-bread-recipe
Yes, you have read that correctly.
Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread
with a 5 star rating, i almost squeed with delight. but i was still a bit skeptical. would this bread REALLY be what i was looking for? There were still a few things that had to be modified to fit with my rules so here is the modified version:
2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (if you are concerned about this you can also use agave nectar, just use a little less and add more water)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Saigon-type cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
5 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, brown rice syrup, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.
Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny (I use the dough attachment on my kitchen aid until it was a formed ball, then kneaded by hand until it started to feel firm). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour (i did about an hour and 15 minutes, but you can let it rise longer, whole wheat takes longer to rise).
Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise till they've crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour (like before, you should let it rise a bit longer to compensate for the whole wheat).
Bake the loaves in a preheated 360°F oven for 33 minutes.* Remove them from the oven when they're golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Yield: 2 sandwich loaves.
This bread was AMAZING!!!!!! Not just, oh it's whole wheat sandwich bread so i'll eat it cause I know it's good for me amazing, but the honey is giving my mouth good feelings A-freaking-MAZING. I didn't quite let it rise enough to get the true fluffy texture in the middle, but it was fluffy enough, and still had that nice not-to-hard crust. I have found our new bread! The best part, it probably only cost us $3, that's not bad!! Here is the picture of the bread. it calls for 2 loaf pans, but I could only find one of mine... weird cause i thought i had 3... So instead i used a saucepan to cook the other loaf, which is why it's round.... Quick side note, if you cook it that way, make sure you put a potholder over the handle of the pan after it is out of the oven, cause if you are anything like me you will forget it was in the oven, and being in a 360 degree oven for 35 minutes does not feel good on the hand...