Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fresh Oven Baked Wheat Bread (Includes Link to Bread Machine Version)

I baked a beautiful loaf of wheat bread in the oven yesterday. It's so flavorful, when I made a cheese sandwich I could hardly taste the cheese. The fresh bread is overpowering! 

I own a bread machine and I have to admit I haven't had a lot of luck with it. I'm not ready to give up yet, but the loaves I've made have consistently fallen, and come out denser than they should, no matter what little tweaks I do to the recipe. 

I found a recipe for wheat bread at Taste of Home designed for the bread machine. I noticed the last comment on the page which explained how the user had utilized the dough cycle on their bread machine, but then took the dough out and baked it in the oven. I had never tried that method before and thought I'd give it a whirl! I'm so glad I did! It's a simple recipe, I had all the ingredients on hand, and it sure beat driving to the store and dishing out $4 for a loaf!

wheat bread

This recipe is adapted from the recipe Bread Machine Wheat Bread published by Taste of Home. 

1/2 c. warm milk
1/2 c. water
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp honey (I used raw honey)
2 Tbsp softened butter (I went with unsalted since there is already salt in the recipe)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 c. bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1.70 tsp instant (bread machine) yeast (yes, I know, that says "1.70 tsp" and that's weird. See the note at the bottom on yeast.)

In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients; flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add milk, water, egg, honey, and butter to the bread machine pan. Add the dry ingredients to the bread machine pan. Place pan into bread machine and select the dough cycle. Grease a bread pan and set aside. When dough cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread machine. Shape it into the greased bread pan, cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. (If you leave the pan on the stove it will stay nice and warm while the oven preheats.) After 1/2 an hour remove the towel and place the pan in the oven. (For a nice rustic taste, rub the top of the dough with a little bit of flour and a tiny bit of salt.) Bake for 20-25 minutes. (20 minutes was plenty for me.)

Note on yeast: The original recipe called for 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. According to a chart I found online you can substitute instant yeast (breadmachine yeast) for active dry yeast, by using 25% of the yeast called for. 25% of 2 1/4 is 1.70 tsp. Basically I just measured out 1.5, then used the 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to scoop out a little bit more, an amount that looked like less than half a spoonful. It sounds complicated but I promise it isn't! For more info on converting check out this nifty conversion chart here. P.S. my pride would like you to know that I didn't use this conversion chart, I did the math myself ;) 

I hope this works as well for you as it did for me! If you try this out let me know. I'm going to keep trying with the bread machine, but I have to admit I may be retiring it soon. This recipe was so easy and I know it can be done just as easily with the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid Mixer! 


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