Bread is a foundational food.
Upon it, cuisines are rounded and bellies are filled. Plus, does anything surpass the homeyness of baking a loaf of bread in the oven?
My husband loves coming home to the aroma of hot, fresh bread and this Basic Honey Wheat Bread recipe is our ‘daily bread.’ An ever versatile loaf, we’ve made French Toast, Paninis and Avocado Toast (toasted and then topped with salted avocados). I especially like bread for breakfast when warmed in a bowl and smothered with raw milk. More simply, though, we enjoy it on the side of dinner with liberal pats of pastured butter. I prefer this kind; Kerry Gold.
Gratefully, Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella, created this favorite loaf of mine in her Homemade Flour Cookbook. I’ve tried other basic bread dough recipes; some called for flax, some added vital wheat gluten, some eggs, some had varying flour to liquid ratios. Naturally Ella’s is the best – dense, hearty – and I rarely substitute ingredients in this recipe.
Try it and let me know how you like it!
Basic Honey Wheat Bread
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees Farenheit)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or, one packet)
- 1/4 cup sweetener (I use organic honey)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter, plus extra for brushing
- 4-4 1/2 cups sprouted and freshly milled flour (I use organic hard red wheat)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sweetener- give a quick stir and let sit until yeast becomes active and frothy (5ish minutes). Stir in 2 cups of the flour, the olive oil and salt.
Continue to add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remember- you can always add flour but you can’t always take it away. The dough should be soft and surprisingly sticky. Once flour is added, continue to knead the dough for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough bounces back when poked with your finger. Careful; don’t over knead!
Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Once the first rise is over, knead a couple of times into the form of a log. Place in an oiled bread pan, cover again and set aside for about 1 hour. With 30 minutes left, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Once the loaf has risen the second time, brush with oil and place in oven. Bake at 330 degrees for 20-30 minutes, but begin babysitting it at 25 minutes. Bread should have a golden crust and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and let cool until you slice it.
“But He (Jesus) answered and said, ‘It is written; man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4 KJV
With love and butter,