Friday, April 19, 2013

whole-wheat bread

Well, once again, Nashville weather has taken a turn and we've woken up to a drizzly and much cooler day.  It couldn't be a more perfect one to plan on making this wonderful bread!  I love baking bread on any kind of day, but there's something comforting about smelling it in the oven when it's overcast and cooler.  And call me silly, but I like to do so with the oven light on, so I can watch the masterpiece come to life right before my eyes!  I know... it doesn't take much for me!

Do not let the "rye" part of this recipe scare you.  If I didn't put the flour in it myself, I wouldn't know it's there.  I actually like rye, but I promise you can't taste it in the bread at all.  This is a hearty, nuttier loaf, and quite easy to make!  Make sure to cut off the heal as soon as it comes out of the oven, smear with a pat of butter and drizzle with honey.  Good to the last crumb!

Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
makes two loaves
  • 2 1/3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
~ In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix water, yeast, honey, butter and salt with a rubber
~ Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose 
~ Add the remaining whole-wheat and all purpose flours, attach the dough hook and knead
    at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the dough 
    to a lightly floured surface.  Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft 
    and smooth, about 30 seconds.
~ Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in 
    a warm draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
~ Heat the oven to 375 degrees. 
~ Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.
~ Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.
~ With the long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing 
    down to make sure the dough sticks to itself.
~ Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch to close.
~ Place each cylinder of dough into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and gently press down until
    dough is touching four sides of pan.
~ Cover the pans and let rise until doubled, about 20-30 minutes.
~ Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the short end of the loaf reads 205 
    degrees, about 35-45 minutes.
~ Transfer immediately to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Recipe originally from Baking Illustrated.