Healthy Honey Whole Wheat Bread
This bread is an attempt to recover a recipe I loved and lost. For many years I made this bread at least once a week, to the point where I'd memorized the recipe. Then I stopped making it and later, when I wanted to make it again, I realized I'd forgotten the recipe and didn't actually have a record of it (this was in a youthful, disorganized period in my life).
The memory of the aroma of this bread, and the taste of the first slice, fresh from the oven, has stayed with me, so recently I resolved to try to recreate the recipe. This version – after more than a few failed attempts – measures up to my sense memory of this wonderful bread.
This recipe is, in my experience, easy, forgiving and nearly foolproof. It's a great bread for breakfast toast, sandwiches – grilled or not – or as an always-appreciated gift for favorite friends.
From a healthy diet point of view, as always bread needs to be approached with caution. Two moderately thin slices bring 161 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, so this one certainly can be part of a weight- or glucose-control diet, especially since that two-slice serving also brings 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.
Healthy Honey Whole Wheat Bread
2 loaves (approximately 30 slices)Ingredients
- 5 teaspoons instant dry yeast, such as SAF
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably stone ground)
- 1/2 cup dry milk
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 2/3 cups warm water (about 110º)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
1. Place the yeast, salt, flour, dry milk, wheat germ and sunflower seeds in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer and stir to combine.
2. Place the warm water, oil, honey and molasses in a separate bowl and stir to combine.
3. Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the wet mix. Stir to combine.
4. Knead for 8 minutes with the dough hook at low speed.
5. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead by hand about 2 minutes, until the dough stops taking up flour from the board and is round and smooth like a baby's bottom.
6. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Turn the dough to coat with oil, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free location. Allow to double in bulk, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
7. Punch the dough down, turn it onto a floured board and divide into two balls. Shape into round loaves and place on a peel covered with cornmeal. (See note.) Turn on the oven (with baking stone in place) and preheat to 350º.
8. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and allow to rise another 45 minutes.
9. Cut a cross deeply in each loaf with a sharp knife and slide the loaves onto the baking stone. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, until a tester comes clean and the bread gives a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
10. If desired, rub a tablespoon of butter over the crust of each of the loaves. Cool the bread on a rack before slicing.
This recipe calls for baking the bread on a baking stone, which gives a nice crust. If you wish, however, the bread may be shaped into oblong loaves and placed in non-stick or greased loaf pans.