Scrumptious and Simple Honey Wheat Bread Recipe

Sorry, guys.  I know I promised this post yesterday but life got in the way.  For those of you anxiously waiting, here’s the recipe I mentioned in my last post.

I tried out and adapted several different wheat bread recipes and finally settled on this one for three basic reasons.  1 – It’s made entirely from food storage ingredients (no refrigerated items needed).  2 – The finished product is good for sandwiches or toast.  3 – It freezes really well so I can make four loaves in one batch and have enough to last the entire week.

This recipe uses both wheat and bread flour.  If you like your bread more dense, you’ll want to increase your wheat flour.  If you prefer it fluffy, reduce your wheat flour and add a bit more bread flour.  I make mine in my Bosch mixer, if you’re using a KitchenAid you might want to half the recipe.  I’m not sure how much dough those machines can handle.

Ingredients

4 cups warm water (110 degrees or so)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp active dry yeast

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey
4 tsp salt
6-8 cups wheat flour
4-6 cups bread flour (you can use all purpose too)

Directions

  1. Add the tablespoon of sugar to the warm water and then add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, add 2/3 cup sugar to mixing bowl.  Next add oil and then honey (use the same mixing cup – the oil residue will help the honey slip out easily).  Add salt and yeast mixture (it should be foamy) and blend lightly.
  3. Add wheat flour one cup at a time and mix well.  I don’t really measure, I just keep adding wheat flour until the dough is thick, sticks to the beaters and starts to look like this…
  4. Change to a dough hook attachment.  Add bread flour to the mixture half a cup at a time until it cleans the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky to the touch.  Increase motor speed and “knead” the dough for 6 minutes or so (you could also do it by hand on the counter – just increase the time to 10-15 minutes).  Continue to dust with flour as needed.  It will look something like this…
  5. Turn your oven to it’s lowest temperature (I use my warm setting) and move the rack down to a low position.  Grab a large bowl and coat it lightly with oil.  With floured hands, form a smooth and elastic ball with the dough and drop it in the bowl.  Flip dough ball once to coat the entire surface of the with oil.  Cover the bowl completely with plastic wrap.  It should look something like this…
  6. Turn your oven off, then place the bowl in warm oven (if you can’t touch your hand to the inside of the door, it’s too hot – open the door to allow it to cool).  Let it rise until doubled (about 45 minutes).  It should look something like this when it’s finished…
  7. Lightly grease 4 standard size bread pans (I prefer glass because it’s easy to see when the bread has cooked through by checking the browning on the bottom).  Punch down the dough.  Divide it into four even chunks.  Shape the sections into loaves by tucking the dough under itself.  Place the sections in the pans and return them to the warm oven (you may want to warm it up again – just be sure to turn it off before you put the loaves in).
  8. Let the loaves rise until they double in size or are about 1-2 inches taller than the pans (about 30 minutes).
  9. Pull loaves out of the oven and preheat to 365.  Place loaves back in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  If your loaves start to brown too quickly, cover the tops with aluminum foil (I use a disposable oven liner because it’s faster and easier to work with).
  10. Once your bread is cooked through, take pans out of the oven and place finished loaves on cooling racks.  Allow the loaves to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing (5 minutes if the smell of fresh baked bread is making your stomach growl and you can’t stand to wait any longer).

Doesn’t that look delicious?  Just wait until you cut yourself a thick slice in the morning and slather it with strawberry freezer jam.  It’s great way to kick off your day.  I promise, once you get the hang of making this each week, you’re family will never want to go back to store-bought again (as evidenced by my chubby little guy here).

Let me know if you have any questions or improvements on this recipe in the comments area below.  Good luck!  Just thought I’d pass it on.


30 Comments

  1. Witchy Wanda

    Your little guy is so cute! He reminds me of your son “J” but he has eyes like your daughter “E.” Very cute.

    Thank you for the bread recipe. My husband has been begging me to make some homemade bread but I didn’t have a tried and true recipe until now. I have a Bosch, I should use it for what it was intended-bread, not cookies. Although we do like cookies round these parts.

  2. I’m not a bread maker by any stretch of the imagination but this recipe looked so easy I decided to give it a go. I don’t have a bosch so I halved the recipe. I didn’t look quite as pretty as yours, but it was delicious. My family was so impressed. Thanks!

  3. Claudette

    Hey, I made this the other day, (I didn’t read the part about it makes four loaves and when I had all the dough, I put it in my Wilton’s bundt came pan, gave the bread a nice effect) I did make one change, well addition. i sprinkled Cinnamon sugar on top before the baking and I found that it gave a sweet but not too sweet taste. Thought i would share. Both my boss and my mother declared it the best loaves of bread I’d made yet and I owe it to you! Thanks!

  4. Claudette

    I also wanted to add that I made it all by hand with no mixer whatsoever. I find it’s an awesome stress reliver to pound the dough as hard as I can.

  5. I’ve never made bread before and I’ll admit… I’m nervous. However, you do make it sound fairly easy with this step-by-step post. I think I’m going to drop by Walmart, buy myself some loaf pans, and get to work!

    I’ll blog about it this weekend, whether it works out or not! :D

  6. The bread came out beautifully!!!

    I blogged about it and linked you here:
    http://testone2three.blogspot.com/2009/09/yeast-beast-and-how-i-conquered-it.html

  7. My mom used to make homeade wheat bread for us every week. It is one myfondest memories- walking into the house from school with the smell of homeade bread, mom waiting to talk about the day and cutting me a still warm fresh peice of bread with either homeade jam or honey on it- those were good times for sure.

  8. Thanks for the recipe. I have never been successful at making bread untill your recipe. It was delicious. My kids at one loaf in one meal. I cut the recipe in half because I only have 2 loaf pans, but I think I will go buy 2 more. I am going to turn them into rolls today. YUMMY. Thanks again. :)

  9. This was sooo yummy! A great way to use and rotate food storage. Thanks for sharing the recipe. (One addition I did make was to add rolled oats on top.)

  10. Bread is the best… nice stuff ^^

  11. Hi your recipe looks great!
    I would like to ask a couple of questions,
    Why do you use first the cookie hooks than the dough hooks?
    The second question is do you have to let it rises two times?
    The third is, when I make bread it is crumbly and it will not make good sandwiches, do you know any tips?

    • Thanks for the questions, Audrey. I’ll try to answer them for you…
      1. Why do I use the cookie hooks first? I guess my main answer to that would be that that’s how my Mom always did it. The dough hook is good for muscling dough but it doesn’t really blend liquids well so I start with the wisks.
      2. Do you have to let it rise twice? Not really. You can always cut back the rising time – it will just impact the overall fluffiness. If you want a denser bread you could just do the initial rise.
      3. How do I avoid crumbly bread? The best strategy I’ve found is to watch your flour content carefully. Higher flour content makes for crumblier bread so you want to be careful when you’re kneading to hold off on adding too much flour. You want the dough to be smooth and elastic – not overly dry.
      Hope that helps! Good luck.

  12. Hi your recipe looks great!
    I would like to ask a couple of questions,
    Why do you use first the cookie hooks than the dough hooks?
    The second question is do you have to let it rises two times?
    The third is, when I make bread it is crumbly and it will not make good sandwiches, do you know any tips?
    Thanks so much for your time

    • Have you tried toasting it lightly before you use it for sandwiches and cutting it a little thicker than store bought bread?

  13. I was wondering how you get the bread so big and beautiful? Any tips? I seem to have pretty loaves (not as big as yours) and then I put them in the oven and the tops tend to slightly fall and look wavy and not so great looking. I have been making bread for a couple of years but am switching to your recipe; I LOVE IT!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hey Christina,
      My favorite tip is to do a lot of hand kneading. My Bosch can knead dough with its bread hook but I’ve found that I get a much better ‘rise’ if I do it on the counter. If your dough is wavy it may be that the dough grew too much during the second rise. Honestly, I’m no expert. Whenever I run into a problem I just search YouTube videos and read CooksIllustrated.com for helpful tips. :)

  14. For a nice consistent rise and longer shelf life add 2T dough enhancer (easily bought at Walmart)in to the dough when you add the flour. You can also add up to 1/3 cup of Vital Wheat Gluten which can also be bought at Walmart. Doing so may increase your yield to 5 loaves as a bonus.

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