Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade Wheat Bread 2lb Loaf

Image ©2013 Rick Beach
Recipe & Images by: Rick Beach

3 Cups White Flour
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 tsp Rapid Rise Yeast
1 Raw Egg (Room Temperature and whisked well)
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp Agave Nectar
2 Tbsp Dry Milk
3 Tbsp Molasses
We use a Zojirushi bread machine to mix our dough and process through the end of the first rise cycle.  Set to "Quick" & "Dough".   Any traditional dough making method can be used.  Such as a mixer with a dough hook, or by hand.  We assume you have yeast bread making knowledge for this recipe.

Things to remember, using the bread machine or other methods.  In this recipe the yeast is added to the flours, not dissolved in the liquids.  The salt is dissolved in the liquids not added with the yeast.  Mixing salt and yeast together in liquid will in many cases, kill the yeast.  Once you kill your yeast you will not get your bread to rise.

All liquids need to be warm, including the raw egg.  Speed the egg warming up by placing the whole egg (still in the shell) in a bowl or pan of warm water before you begin gathering and mixing ingredients.

The water for the recipe should be warm.  Run tap water on the inside of your wrist.  Get the water to where it is still comfortable to your arm...almost going to too hot.

Mix the white and wheat flours together with the dry yeast.  This goes in the bread machine (which should be just now started), or in a large warmed glass bowl.  Starting the machine now gives you several minutes of the warming cycle to mix your remaining ingredients.

In another warmed bowl place the whisked warmed egg, the warm water, oil, salt, Agave, Dry Milk, and Molasses.  Whisk rigorously until the salt is well dissolved.

If using the bread machine pour the warm liquid on the flour mixture, close the lid, let the machine continue through the warming, and mixing.  Check on it while mixing.  You might have to add additional amounts of warm water to get the dough to almost sticky.   This is where experience comes to play....knowing the touch of proper dough. If needed, add the additional amounts of warm water in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time) and let it thoroughly mix in before rechecking.  Using traditional mixing follow the same rule.  Wheat bread takes additional kneading to get good dough (About 10 minutes)

Continue through the kneading and first rise.  With the Zojirush machine, using quick rise yeast, this process takes 45 minutes. (First rise complete)

Turn oven on to 375°
Grease well, a standard size bread loaf pan

Turn dough out onto a floured pastry board (Avoid placing directly on a cold granite counter top).  Roll and stretch dough into a rectangle about 3/4-1 inch thick, several inches wider than the long way of your loaf pan. Small bubbles should already be forming in the dough.  Don't over roll and start popping all the bubbles.  If  need be stretch the dough.  Roll the dough up as if you are making a jelly roll. Pinch the seam of the dough lengthwise.  Then tuck the two ends under and pinch those to hold and seal.  Pour some olive oil in your hands and completely coat the dough with oil.  Place in your loaf pan with the dough seams down.

Let rise a second time in a warm moist area.  We usually use a stainless steel deep steamer tray with a wire rack inside. Pour in very hot tap water , but do not completely submerge the wire rack.  The dough/loaf pan goes on the rack.  A second deep steamer tray of the same size is placed upside down to create a domed lid.  This goes on the stove top with the oven preheating (Not in the oven at this time).  This rise takes from 20 to 40 minutes.  Start checking at 20,  You don't want the rise to become too large.  The start of the baking will rise the bread slightly more.

Once the loaf rises, gently remove it from your rising receptacle and place the bread loaf pan directly on the oven rack set so your loaf pan is about half way up on the inside of the oven.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375° or until when tapped you hear a somewhat hollow sound.  Start checking at 30.  30 minutes is perfect in our oven.

Once baked, remove from the pan and rub or brush all surfaces with butter for a soft crust.  Careful not to crush the loaf and compact the bread.  Never lay it on its top during this process.  We butter the top last.   Let cool before bagging.
Image ©2013 Rick Beach

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