Oh friends. I don’t know what to say. Just kidding. I totally know what to say. I found a killer bread recipe. Every few years I get the craving to make my own bread. I can’t say that I make my own bread on a regular basis because it really does happen every few years. Today I skimmed through the internet and read a few recipes. The one below stood out because of its use of evaporated milk. I’ve never heard of a recipe that called for that bit of goodness. Another interesting part of the recipe was the advice to let the moisture absorb the whole wheat flour. Fascinating. The very best part of this recipe was how beautiful the bread cuts. The biggest pain about homemade bread is that it falls apart and feels…well “homemade”. I want my bread to taste homemade but feel store bought. Does anyone out there know what I’m talking about? The crumb in this bread was absolutely perfect: firm yet moist. I just loved it. Make it and you’ll be as happy as I am.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour (This means you need to weigh the flour. If you can’t weigh it, it’s about 3.5 cups.)
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (about 1.5 cups)
1 5 oz can evaporated milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency
Directions for making bread using bread machine (and you know how I feel about bread machines)
Add hot water, milk and honey to bread machine can. Add salt, wheat flour, white flour, and yeast. Set pan in bread machine and select “dough” setting. When complete, divide dough evenly between two well oiled bread pans. Allow dough to rise while preheating oven to 425. Once oven is preheated, put both pans in and immediately reduce oven to 375. Cook loaves for 45 minutes or until brown on top. When done, remove from oven. Take loaves out of pans and let them cool and cooling racks.
Directions for making bread by hand:
Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.
(Soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat.)
Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.
During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.