Here is the second of our two “How do you Honeyville?” giveaway recipes, Bare Bones Whole Wheat Bread Recipe by Kris Bradley. Enjoy!
1/2 cup cool water (not cold, but cool to the touch)
6 cups whole wheat bread flour (spankin’ fresh! with no hint of bitterness) (used- ground up my own Hard Red Wheat)
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 T Honey (changed to Honey Powder used 2 table spoons)
1/4 cup oil
and the yeast mixture into the well of flour. Stirring from the center, first combine the ingredients to make a smooth batter, then fold in the remaining flour from the sides of the bowl, mixing them together into a soft dough. Soft dough is the key!! Since the whole grain flour takes a while to absorb water, wait 10 minutes–then evaluate the dough. Add water or flour if more is required, but do this slowly as it will probably take less flour than you think.
If you want really good bread–best keeping quality, flavor, and rise–knead the dough about 600 strokes without adding any more flour. The dough should remain soft and should become elastic and smooth. Rest whenever you want, but aim for 600 strokes. This is about 6 minutes on medium speed in a Kitchen-Aid mixer. This may seem like an amazing and outrageous requirement, but after many hundreds of loaves, I’m convinced that thorough kneading makes the critical difference.
As you continue to work the dough, toward the end of the kneading, it will become lustrous, utterly supple and elastic. It should actually be white if you look closely, with brown bran flecks clearly visible against pale gluten. Form the dough into a ball and put in an un-greased crock. Spray LIGHTLY with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and allow to ferment. At about 80 degrees, this will take 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Wet your finger and poke it into the dough (called the ripe test). If your finger goes in without very much resistance and the hole remains when your finger is removed, the dough is ready to be punched down. For best results, do not wait until it sighs and collapses when poked. Gently press out the accumulated gas. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured table and keeping the smooth surface, carefully unbroken, deflate the dough by pressing it with wet or floury hand from one side to another. Cut it in half and form each part gently int a round ball, still preserving the smooth surface on the outside.
Roll dough int a rectangle and fold into thirds. Roll, pinch, and form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan (standard size only! 8inch by 4 inch–or loaves will be squat-ty). Loaves should take 35-45 minutes for their final rise (called proof)–I cover them with a loose gallon size bag. Make sure the surface doesn’t get dry or the top crust will separate from the loaf when baking…Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When oven is hot and only then, place loaves in the oven. If all has gone well, the loaves will arch over the top of the pan, touching the sides all the way up! The dough feels spongy but not soggy. Place in hot oven. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until internal temperature is over 175 degrees (can be measured with a chef style meat thermometer). Allow to cool before placing in a bag. Keeps 3-4 days if you kept the dough soft.