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Whole Wheat Bread

Wheat BreadMaking homemade Wheat Bread has been on my kitchen “bucket-list” for quite awhile now and since it finally started to get cooler I decided to give it a go. This recipe has quite a few ingredients, but the flavor is perfect. It has a very light wheat flavor and the honey gives it a nice sweetness. For my first ever batch of homemade bread it turned out wonderfully!  The dough was simple to make and it was also easy to work with and shape. Overall this was an easy recipe and I look forward to making it again. Next time I am going to try to measure the flours by weight and see if it does anything to the density of the bread. The recipe makes two loaves, so we have one out for now and we froze the other one to use as needed.

Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
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Makes two 9-inch loaves.

2-1/3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
1½ tablespoons instant yeast
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
2½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup (7/8 ounce) rye flour
½ cup toasted wheat germ
3 cups (16½ ounces) whole-wheat flour
2¾ cups (13¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter, and salt with a rubber spatula. Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours.

2. Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, attach the dough hook, and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.

3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently press down the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure that the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place each cylinder of dough in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down and pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim reads 205 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to wire racks; cool to room temperature.

Adapted from Annie’s-Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated.

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