Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tis the season for Baking!

Don't you love the way your house smells when you've been baking? The scent of sugar and cinnamon and flour wafting through the air, the bowls and pans and rolls of parchment paper stacked to the ceiling, and the delicious end it, cookies, cakes, or bread.

After I made my Santa Bread I popped a few loaves of my Honey Wheat Bread into the oven. This is one recipe that is in the cookbook and is so easy and delicious! Pair it with some fresh jam and butter and you've got yourself a real winner!! This is a great "gift" for neighbors and friends. Wrap it in some parchment and tie with ribbon and you've got yourself a great treat!

Honey Wheat Loaf

3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

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