Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
1¼ cups warm water
1½ teaspoons honey (or sugar)
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon oil
1½ teaspoons salt
1. In a large bowl, whisk the water, honey, and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast has bloomed.
2. Pour in the wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oil, and salt, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball that does not stick to your fingers. You can also do the first 2 steps in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, mixing on low speed until the dough no longer sticks to the sides.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times until it really starts to form a tight ball.
4. Form the dough into a ball shape and transfer to a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat it in grease. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a wet towel and store in a warm place for 1 hour.
5. Allow the dough to proof until it has doubled in size. Save the plastic wrap or towel as you’ll be using it again.
6. Transfer the proofed dough to a lightly floured surface and press the dough – don’t stretch – into a 7x7-inch square. Fold the top 3rd of the square down, and the bottom 3rd up to form an even rectangle. Pinch the top fold to seal the dough.
7. Roll the dough over so that the seal faces upward and fold both ends up toward the center, so that the dough has formed an even log shape about the size of your loaf pan.
8. Transfer the dough to a greased loaf pan and cover with with the same plastic wrap or towel used before.
9. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, until it has poofed over the edge of the loaf pan about 1½ inches.
10. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
11. Remove the plastic wrap or towel and transfer to the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until the dough has browned slightly and formed a light brown crust.
12. Immediately remove the loaf from the pan and set aside to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
13. Store in an airtight container or bag. The bread can be stored in freezer up to 6 months.
NOTE: It may be tempting to use all whole wheat flour in this recipe, but, in our testing, that method resulted in dense, tough, squat breads that barely rose when we tried to proof them. Using some all-purpose flour was necessary to give us the rise and soft, pillowy texture we wanted in a good sandwich bread.