Monday are our baking day, something I look forward to immensely. I love having the boys in the kitchen with me, mixing and kneading the dough, and nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread. We've been trying some new recipes, and this one today from A Farmish Kind of Life is a winner. I cut the recipe in half to make 2 loaves and Eli's little loaf. Alex announced that this should be our new "regular bread," for breakfast and sandwiches, and I agree. It has a nice, light taste and a good crumb.
Honey Wheat Bread
recipe makes 4-5 loaves; can be cut in half to make two loaves instead
2 envelopes yeast (or 5 tsp yeast)
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup lard, melted (or whatever oil your family prefers)
2/3 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
4 cups warm water
3/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp salt
8 cups wheat flour (I used sprouted spelt flour)
5 cups white flour
Add the yeast to the 1 cup of warm water, and set it aside for a few minutes.
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the melted lard, milk, 4 cups water, honey, and salt. Then add the yeast/water you had setting aside to this. You’re gonna end up with a nice bowl of liquid.
Add the wheat flour, one or two cups at a time, stirring after every addition. Do not dump all 8 cups in at once. Patience. Bread takes time.
When you have patiently and slowly added and mixed in all the wheat flour, continue to add the white flour, 1 cup at a time—stirring after every addition. How do you know it’s time to start kneading? If your bread dough is super wet, it will stick to the counter. Keep stirring in the bowl and adding flour as needed until your dough isn’t visibly wet or sticky.When your dough isn’t goopy anymore, turn it out onto a floured table or countertop and knead, adding more white flour as needed.
Place the kneaded dough in large greased bowl. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let the dough rise one hour.
After an hour, punch the dough down. Then divide into 4-5 loaves. (The amount of flour you’ve actually ended up using will determine whether your get 4 or 5 loaves. I almost always get 5.) Place the loaves in greased loaf pans and let them rise another 30-45 minutes (covered with a clean dishtowel). They’ll start popping out of the loaf pan.
Bake at 400 for 28 minutes. Let them cool a couple minutes and then turn them out from the pans and set on cooling racks. I’ve found if you let the loaves sit in the pans too long, the bottoms of the loaves get soggy.