Friday, November 20, 2015

Homemade Wheat (or White!) Bread

Oh my goodness, this bread is good. Remember Wendy, my awesome nurse-mentor when I worked in the NICU? Twas she brought the delicious Butternut Squash Harvest Soup to the weekly Sunday potluck at work. Part of the reason that soup stole my heart, though is that it was paired with this amazing homemade bread.

I feel inadequate to fully describe the deliciousness of it. It's soft but not crumbly. The texture and taste are amazing. Also, I love that it calls for 100% wheat flour and still delicious. (Don't you sometimes feel like fractioning out part-wheat, part-white is missing the point? I want it either completely whole grain or completely fluffy and light. Then again, I'm new to bread making; ask me again in a few years.)

I knew I needed to share this recipe with my mom (and the world), but when I went to make it a few days ago, I could not find my wheat flour. I could have sworn I had a quarter bag left... Yet it turns out, this oversight was destiny. I already had the rest of my ingredients in my mixer and didn't want them to go to waste, so I added white flour instead, and the result was another amazing loaf.  My husband fell completely in love, and our family ate the entire loaf in an embarrassingly short amount of time. I'm not going to even tell you how short. It was that good.

So I'm set: whether I need a white or wheat loaf, this recipe is gold! (And if I want a crusty, artisan bread, mom's No-knead, Overnight Bread is another no-fail winner. I typically make it without any mix-ins, and it's delish.)

1 1/4 cups warm water (very warm to touch)
1/2 Tbs yeast
1/2 Tbs salt
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 Tbs canola oil
3 cups wheat (or white) flour

Mix water, yeast, salt, honey, oil and flour together until well mixed.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Let rise, covered in greased bowl for 1 hr.  Form into a loaf and transfer into a greased loaf pan.  Cover with a clean dishcloth and let it rise for 1 hr. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

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