Ah, fall—the season of crackling leaves, warm blankets, hot drinks and the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. There's something inherently comforting about the combination of crisp air and the smell of bread baking in the oven. As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, it's the perfect time to indulge in the cozy pleasures of fall. So, why not embrace the spirit of the season by trying your hand at baking a hearty, wholesome loaf of Whole Wheat Bread?
Baking the Perfect Whole Wheat Bread: A Recipe for Cozy Mornings, Evenings or Anytime Of The Day!
- 2.75 cups whole wheat flour
- 0.75 cups all-purpose flour (and a bit extra for dusting)
- 0.5 tbsp salt
- 1.75 cups warm water (95°F - 100°F)
- 1 tsp honey
- 0.5 tsp dried yeast
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
1. Warm Honey Infusion: Begin by pouring the warm water into a measuring cup and adding the honey. Stir until the honey completely dissolves.
2. Mixing and Resting: In a large bowl, blend the whole wheat and all-purpose flour with the Danish Dough Whisk. Pour in the warm honey-water mixture, stirring until well combined. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a bowl cover and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. This period of rest allows the flavors to meld and the dough to develop a rich, rustic character.
3. Kneading and Shaping: Sprinkle salt and yeast onto the dough. Now, knead the dough by hand until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Wetting your hands periodically will prevent the dough from sticking to your skin. Dust your counter with white flour and transfer the dough for kneading. Use your Smart Scraper to aid in this process, adding flour as needed.
4. Fermentation and Proofing: Return the dough to the bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for bulk fermentation. During this time, the dough will double in size, creating a soft, airy crumb. After this rise, shape the dough and transfer it to a floured Proofing Basket. Let it proof for an additional 1 hour, allowing the flavors to deepen and mature.
5. Baking to Perfection: Preheat your oven to 350°F. If using a Dutch oven, place it in the oven to heat. Once the dough has proofed, gently transfer it to the preheated vessel. Score the loaf using Lame with swift slashes, then bake for 25 minutes or until beautifully browned. For the last 10 minutes, remove the lid if using a covered vessel to achieve a crust with a satisfying crunch.
6. Finishing Touches: Once out of the oven, brush the warm loaf with melted butter, infusing it with a golden sheen and a buttery aroma. Let it cool.
Now it’s time to slice your delicious bread, enjoy!
TIP: Add flaxseeds, sunflower or sesame seeds for added nutritional value and texture. Adding seeds or oats to the crust is another great way to personalize it. On a health kick? Reduce the amount of honey or eliminate it altogether.
Our favorite pairings for the Whole Wheat Bread:
- Classic Peanut Butter and Banana: Spread creamy or crunchy peanut butter on slices of whole wheat bread and add banana slices for a satisfying and nutritious sandwich.
- Avocado and Tomato: Mash ripe avocado onto toasted whole wheat bread, and top with fresh tomato slices, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of lemon juice for a tasty and healthy option.
- Turkey and Cranberry: Create a hearty sandwich by layering roasted turkey slices with cranberry sauce or chutney. Add some greens like spinach or arugula for added freshness.
- Caprese Style: Make a Caprese-style sandwich by layering whole wheat bread with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze or vinaigrette.
- Egg Salad: Spread homemade or store-bought egg salad on whole wheat bread for a classic and filling sandwich. Add lettuce or sprouts for a refreshing crunch.
- Grilled Cheese with Apple: Make gourmet grilled cheese by adding thin apple slices between slices of whole wheat bread along with your favorite cheese. Grill until golden brown for a sweet and savory treat.
- Nut Butter and Honey: Spread almond butter, cashew butter, or any nut butter of your choice on whole wheat bread. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chia seeds or sliced almonds for extra texture.
- Tuna Salad: Top whole wheat bread with a generous scoop of tuna salad. Add lettuce, cucumber, and red onion slices for a delightful crunch and flavor contrast.
- Roasted Vegetable Medley: Roast a mix of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and red onions. Layer them on whole wheat bread with hummus or goat cheese for a hearty, vegetarian option.
- Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon: Spread cream cheese on whole wheat bread and top with smoked salmon slices. Add capers, red onion rings, and fresh dill for a gourmet open-faced sandwich.
In every wholesome bite of your freshly baked Whole Wheat Bread, find the essence of cozy fall days and the satisfaction of creating something nourishing from scratch. Happy baking!