For a while, I had been experimenting with bread making using random recipes from different recipe sites, other blogs, or miscellaneous books. I was beginning to feel like I was getting the hang of this whole kneading, rising, shaping, baking thing, but I felt like something was missing. So, I coughed up the money and bought my first bread book - Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice." Let me tell you, I am extremely impressed. Reinhart "deconstructs" the whole process, from the ingredients used to the different categories of bread (other than just quick or yeasted) to the actual baking of the bread. Of the few recipes I've tried, each has been outstanding. Many of the recipes require an overnight preferment, but some, like this Light Whole Wheat, can be made in one day. I altered Reinhart's recipe a bit, substituting the dry milk powder for soy milk and adding a little water, so that this bread fits my vegan diet. It is the perfect sandwich bread - a nice soft crust, a creamy crumb, and a slight honey flavor. I'll definitely be making this more often!
8 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
3.25 oz bread flour
6.75 oz whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp yeast
8 oz warm soy milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1.5 tbsp honey, melted
3-4 oz water
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Add the remaining ingredients except 1 oz (2 tablespoons) of the water, and mix to form a rough ball. Add more water if it seems too dry.
- Transfer to a lightly floured or oiled counter and knead for 10 minutes (if using a machine, knead using the dough hook for about 6 minutes). **My dough seemed very stiff and was not very stretchy, but turned out great**
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise at room temperature for 90-100 minutes, until it has risen to twice its size.
- Gently turn the dough out onto the counter and shape into a log.
- Place in an oiled loaf pan and let rise again for 75 minutes, or until it has crested over the rim of the pan.
- About 10 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 15-30 minutes. The bread should be a nice golden brown and register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Let cool at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy!