July 26, 2012

My Favorite Bread Recipe

When I was growing up,my mother always baked fresh homemade bread;I recall eating the dough and then paying for it later with an upset stomach-which my father told me was due to the dough 'rising' in my intestines....I'm still not sure if he was just trying to keep me from eating the dough or if it really does 'rise' in my stomach.......I should Google that.

Since becoming a wife and mother,I have been searching for a recipe I could make my 'own' signature one.
I have finally discovered one!
I enjoy making my bread into a braided loaf-which we generally use as a side to soup or with butter as an addition to any meal-and this recipe works wonderfully!

It doesn't come out heavy or tough,and instead is super fluffy and light-which makes it not last very long in this house-but it's so yummy it's worth it!!

It's so great I thought I would share with my friends-YOU!

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread

prep:35 min; Rise:1.5 hr;Bake:45 min
Makes 2 loaves-total of about 32 servings

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening -I use a non-hydrogenated one
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4 cups very warm water ( 120 degrees)
3-4 cups all purpose or bread flour
Butter melted if desired for brushing over loaves after baking

Mix WW flour,honey,salt,yeast,shortening and water until well mixed (this will be very moist-no fear-you will be adding more flour).
Then add the AP flour one cup at a time until the dough is easy to handle ( think not stick-but not dry either).

Take the dough and place on a floured surface;knead until springy (think 'dough-boy' not to heavy,but very bouncy).
Place in a greased bowl-coating dough evenly by 'turning' one placed in the bowl;place in a warm spot,covered (I use a dishtowel over my bowl).
Let rise until double (usually about 1-2 hours) and then place on a lightly floured surface.
At this point it's up to you how you shape your loaves.

You can make a classic bread loaf,or-like me- you can split the dough into two sections,and then use each of those to make a braid by dividing the dough into three sections and braiding.

 Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
You can allow the loaves to rise more while the oven pre-heats.
I don't generally need to bake for anywhere NEAR 45 minutes-it's closer to 20 minutes-so watch closely!
Soft and fluffy braided bread

I use the same recipe for ooey gooey cinnamon rolls