Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
This bread has won a place in our kitchen. It is very easy to make and very flavorful. It is not the regular whole wheat that you would buy at a store. It is heavier, but better. I promise.
1 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees)
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing.
3 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 cups bread flour + 1/4 cup extra if needed
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. salt
1. Whisk the milk, water, butter, and honey together in a large liquid measuring cup.
2. Toast the wheat germ in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 5 minutes,
3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flours (bread and whole wheat), toasted wheat germ, yeast and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
4. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and, gently press into a 9-inch square. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam side down, in the prepared pan. Mist the loaf with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, 45 to 75 minutes).
7. Adjust an over rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the loaf lightly with melted butter, then spray lightly with water. Bake until golden and the center of the bread registers 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking. Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours before serving.
TO MAKE AHEAD:
In step 5, do not let the dough rise, but refrigerate it overnight or up to 16 hours; let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then continue with step 6.
Source: "The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book"