Few things give me greater joy than making bread. It’s so simple, yet meticulous and tactile, and who doesn’t crave a steaming loaf out of the oven? Before I tackle the art of the levain and sourdough, I thought I’d give this simple bread a go, and it did not disappoint. Slater this with creamy butter or nutella and chill-ax.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe adapted from Local Milk, with modifications.
2 1/4 cup warm water (105° F – 115° F)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1 tbsp unsulfured molasses
1 tbsp kosher salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, blend 1/2 cup of the water with the yeast and honey to just combine. Allow the mixture to rest until the yeast is frothy, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the bread + whole wheat flours in one bowl and set aside.
Once the yeast mixture is frothy, fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cup water, oil, molasses, and about half of the flour to the yeast, and mix on low speed until the ingredients start to incorporate and cohere. Then slowly add in the remaining flour mixture and increase the speed to medium, mixing until the dough comes together, stopping to scrape down the hook and bowl as needed. Add the salt and continue to beat at medium speed for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be slightly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Place it in a large lightly oiled bowl (I used coconut spray). Rotate the dough to coat lightly in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at rom temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with coconut oil spray (or ordinary cooking spray).
Deflate the dough by lightly punching it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 9″ by 12″ rectangle, with the short side facing you. Fold the top of the dough 2/3’s of the way down then fold again so that the top meets the bottom edge. Seal the seam by pinching.Turn each roll so that the seam is centered, facing up. Tuck the ends of the roll in just so that the loaf will fit in the pan. Pinch to seal these seams.
Turn the rolls over, plump and shape with your hands, and place seam side down in the loaf pans. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size again, about 1 hour. While they rise center a rack in the oven and heat to 375° F.
When risen (a finger should leave an impression when the dough is poked) bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the loaf reads 200° F. Remove from pans and let cool on racks.
Once cooled the bread can be wrapped and stored at room temperature or tightly wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to a month. To thaw let sit, still wrapped, at room temperature.