honey whole wheat bread

This is the only yeast bread I’ve ever made with triumphant results. It’s slightly sweet, slices beautifully, and actually tastes like something.

My sister-in-law, Kristel, gave this recipe to me. She tried it because it doesn’t have any sugar in it–just honey and orange juice. Then she did a lot of research to figure out the exact technique to make it as lovely as it is. I owe this detailed version to her.

honey whole wheat bread
makes 2 loaves

I do the initial mixing in my KitchenAid, then knead it by hand for the full 8 minutes. This bread, especially the cinnamon-sugar variation, is incredible toasted.

3-1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 egg

In a large bowl or mixer, combine 2 cups bread flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt, and mix well.

In saucepan, heat milk, orange juice, water, honey, and butter to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to flour mixture with egg and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in the rest of the whole wheat flour and enough remaining bread flour to form a firm dough.

Knead dough on a floured work surface, adding more bread flour if necessary, for 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, press or roll each piece of dough into a 14″ x 7″ rectangle. For each, start with the shorter side, and roll up tightly. Pinch edges and seam to seal. Place dough, seam side down, into a greased 9″ x 5″ bread pan, making sure the short ends are snugly fitted against the sides of the pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough fills the corners of the pans and doubles in bulk, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Brush the tops with melted butter for a soft crust.

Variation: Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll up and bake as directed.

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