Warm freshly baked Honey-Wheat Bread…a tantalizing aromatic treat for the senses! Serve it with simple accompaniments like butter, jam n cheese to enjoy its rustic flavor and subtle honey under-tones….Mmmmm!
This bread is a fav with me & my son, so when the children’s Grandma (Nani-Maa) came visiting, we had to bake some for her to taste.
As I prepped the ingredients and started making the dough, Grandma, skeptically remarked that these ‘so called brown breads made with whole wheat offer no competition to the soft moist taste of traditional white bread.
So as a CHALLANGE we decide to make both the breads and have her taste them side by side.
Once the loaves were ready, we sliced both the traditional white and the Honey wheat and had mom, do a tasting.
Both Breads had turned out really well, and I was eager to hear what she had to say. She first tried the soft moist white sandwich bread and of-course loved it to bits.
But when she took a bite of our Honey-wheat bread…she exclaimed with joy! Some of her remarks included..Wonderful complex flavor, fabulous soft crumb, totally addictive taste and best of all….She loved this bread even better than the white one!!
As me & my son winked at each other, we smilingly welcomed yet another convert into our honey-wheat club! 🙂
Getting the ingredients together:
You will need…
8 gms yeast
130 gms lukewarm water
150 gms whole wheat flour
70 gms wam milk
40 gms honey
7 gms kosher salt
30 gms butter
200 gms Bread a Flour/All Purpose Flour
Preparing the Dough
Pour the warm water in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top and keep for 5 minutes. Take a whisk and gently whisk to make sure the yeast is well diluted and there are no granules remaining.
Add the measured whole wheat flour and cut the flour into the water and yeast solution to form a rough dough.
Pat the dough with wet fingers to hydrate. Cover with a lid or some plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix the honey into the warm milk.
Also add the salt in the milk solution.
After 10 min…you will see that the dough becomes slightly spongy, as the yeast starts working.
Now pour the milk solution into the dough and mix.
Using your fingers squeeze the dough to incorporate the milk.
Also squish the butter into the dough and mix using your fingers as claws,..till the mix resembles a thick porridge.
Now add the bread flour…mix using the cutting technique…till the dough just starts to come together.
Developing the dough:
Transfer dough to work surface. And using a bench scraper or knife. Cut dough into thin segments, working from one end…till you work through all of the dough.
Now gather all the segments together.
Turn 90 degrees! and cut the dough again into segments.
Gather again….and turn 90 degrees and cut into segments once again.
Keep repeating this process till there is no loose dough left and it starts to become a little smooth.
Next start working the dough gently using the palms of both your hands, placed together. Pushing and pulling the dough for 3 minutes. Be careful not to apply so much pressure as to cause tear in the skin of the dough!
Then using your left hand (if you are a righty) repeat the same process for another 3 minutes using only one hand. This helps facilitate more gentle working of the dough.
While working the dough. Make sure the seam of the dough remains on top…running vertically top to bottom, and rotate the dough accordingly!
Each time you pull the dough towards you…you make a horizontal seam. Turn dough to make seam vertical….and then fold dough top to bottom, pushing away as you do it.
The First Rising, followed by Folding the Dough:
After 3 minutes, keep in a oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Keep for 30 minutes in a wam corner (about 80F)
Take dough out of bowl. Punch lightly with fingers and fold top to bottom
Turn 90 degrees and fold top to bottom, once again.
And then again.
The Second Rising followed by Shaping the Loaf:,
Now keep dough covered for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, lightly flour your work surface..Take dough out of bowl and Pat dough gently with fingers to flatten slightly (but not too much!)
Now pinch a little dough from top.
And then start rolling the dough into a tight roll.
Transfer roll to greased loaf pan. I did not have the appropriate pan handy, so used a Pyrex glass one which worked just as well.
Spray dough lightly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, so that the wrap lightly sticks to the surface of the dough. Let the dough rise till it becomes nice n puffy, about 30-40 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 10-15 minutes.
Next sieve some whole wheat flour over the surface of the dough.
Then using a knife cut a slash in the middle to score it.
Pour some lightly warmed butter in the slash.
Baking the Bread:
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes in middle rack at 400F.
Open oven for a minute to vent out steam.
Reduce temperature to 365F and bake for another 25 minutes…till it is golden brown. Let cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes.
Remove loaf from pan, and set on wire rack, sideways.
After 10 minutes rest bread on the other side too.
Slice only after the bread is completely cooled….
enjoy with butter, jam n cheese…Mmmmm!
Recipe adapted from Michael Kalanty