Monday, February 28, 2011

Light Wheat Bread

Yeah! My third attempt at making some sort of homemade bread and I was successful this time!!! Glad I finally found instant yeast (Bought it online from King Arthur Flour) and I love the results! No more rapid rise, active dry, or whatever else everyone claims to "work just as well." The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups water, but I needed more than this to form a soft dough. This dough can be made both by hand or electric mixer.

 Look how beautiful!

I am eating a slice now with peach jam and cottage cheese! So Good!

2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons nonfat powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons  instant yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature **** plus more as needed to form a soft dough

Stir together the bread flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and yeast in a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the butter, honey, and 1 1/4 cups water. Stir (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff and tough. ****I added almost another cup of water for the dough to be soft.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, and transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Kneading should take about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The dough should pass the windowpane test and registers 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough, like this:

Picture from

Place the loaf in a lightly oiled bread pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

**** Don't be alarmed when you thump and it is hard as a rock! I almost wanted to cry in fear that the loaf was ruined. But once I cut the first slice I was so happy at how light, fluffy, and soft the inside was.

When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.

Fresh out of the oven!

Source: SmittenKitchen, originally from the book called The Bread Baker's Apprentice
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