Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quick Easy Whole Wheat Batter Bread

Bread is delicious, and goes with everything. There should always be bread on hand in case of sudden hunger. (or not-so-sudden hunger, like the 'oh no I forgot I was going to cook dinner' hunger)
Home made bread is, of course, preferred.
With this in mind, here is a quick and delicious recipe for home made bread, which goes from flour to warm-slice-dripping-with-butter in about an hour... and that's pretty good for whole wheat yeast bread.
This recipe I adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, which I highly recommend.
So Delicious
Whole Wheat Batter Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp dry yeast
1/4 cup honey (or agave, maple syrup, or other sweetener)
3 1/2 cups hot (but not burning) water
1 Tbsp olive oil or butter, optional.

Preheat the oven to 400*. Grease 2 loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir from the bottom up until the flour is incorporated, then stir fifty more strokes. The batter should be wet and a bit elastic.
Divide the batter evenly between the two well-greased bread pans, spreading it as evenly as you can. Grease a piece of waxed paper and lay it gently across the tops of the loaves.
Let the loaves sit and rise for 20 to 30 minutes, until they have nearly but not quite doubled. If they rise too high, they will either fall and make your loaf less pretty, or they will overflow the pan and make a mess. Keep an eye on them.
Bake in the 400* oven for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350* and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes until the loaves are well browned and test done.
Remove the loaves from their pans immediately and cool on a rack. It is especially important with this bread to let the loaves at least partially cool before cutting, because they are softer and may stick to the knife and tear themselves apart if cut when still warm.
Beginning of mixing
End of mixing

Divide into loaf pans
Perfectly risen loaves

Baked Loaves

Enjoy any way you usually enjoy bread. My personal favorite is warm with butter and jelly, but that's just me.


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