Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Light Wheat Bread

A born-and-raised Arizona girl, I could never truly enjoy living in a cold climate; it's just not in my blood. But during our years in Utah and Indiana, the one thing that would make me sad to see winter go was the fact that I could no longer bake as an excuse to heat up the house. I mean, who doesn't love leaving the oven door open after you pull something warm and satisfying out? Clearly, baking in the summer does not have quite the same effect!

What can beat the smell of freshly baked bread? (Well okay, you could probably persuade me about pie or cookies or something, but you get the idea.)

I have an all-time favorite white bread recipe that I plan on sharing before the winter is over, but for today, it's all about the wheat flour. Since I didn't grow up eating homemade wheat bread, I'm taking it slow--hence the title, "Light Wheat Bread." I also used King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour, which is deceptively white in taste and color but still has all the fiber. (Don't ask me how they do it.)

Well, without further adieu, here's the recipe:

Light Wheat Bread
From the lovely Smitten Kitchen
2 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (In my case, King Arthur's White Whole Wheat)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

  1. Stir together the bread flour, wheat flour, sugar (if using), salt, powdered milk, and yeast. Add the shortening/butter, honey (if using), and water. Mix until it comes together. If some flour remains in the bottom, add a bit more water.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes by hand or about 6 minutes by machine. Lightly oil a large bowl, toss the dough to coat, and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  3. After it has risen, remove the dough and press it into a rectangle on a floured surface. The rectangle will be about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Working from the short side, roll up the length of the dough, pinching the crease with each roll you make. Pinch together the edges on the last roll, and place that face down in an oiled bread pan. Mist with spray oil.
  4. Let rise for about 60 minutes (maybe even less), or until the dough crests the top of the pan.
  5. Preheat to 350, and place bread pan on a sheet pan on the middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes; then rotate the bread 180 degrees for even baking. Bake for another 15-30 minutes. According to Smitten Kitchen, "The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom."
  6. When finished baking, remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a rack for 1-2 hours...if you can wait that long!

1 comment:

Kellee Smith said...


Thanks for the sweet comments on my blog. What a fun sight you have. I will absolutely spend some time here!