09 July 2010

A Better Wheat Bread

I'm always looking for wheat bread recipes.  While this one isn't whole wheat, we have fallen in love with it.  Each time I've made it, it's turned out differently.  Sometimes the kitchen is hot, sometimes cold, sometimes I use more wheat flour, sometimes I use bread flour.  Regardless, the loaf has always turned out delicious. 

Whole-Wheat Bread
Adapted from The Williams Sonoma Baking Book

  • 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups bread flour

  1. In a bowl, sprinkle yeast and brown sugar over water and stir to dissolve.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. 
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, oil, salt, and 2 cups wheat flour.  Beat on medium low speed until creamy, about 1 minutes. 
  3. Beat in the yeast mixture and the remaining wheat flour and beat for 1 minute. 
  4. Beat in the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. 
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, adding bread flour 1 tbsp at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth but slightly sticky when pressed, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours.   
  7. Lightly grease 2 9x5 pans.  Divide dough into 2 loaves and place in pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of the pans, about 1 hour. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 34-40 minutes.  Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.