I’m back with another installment of my Baking Outside My Comfort Zone series, focusing on yeast breads. I think I’m getting the hang of it! Be sure to check out my earlier posts, Good Old American White Rolls and Apple Cranberry Bread.
The holidays are now behind us and the new year has begun. It’s a time of reflection and a time to look to the future with new goals and resolutions. For many of us that means we’re trying to eat healthier. I’m tossing the last of my Christmas candy, eating more salads, and baking whole wheat bread.
My passion for baking supersedes even my desire to shake off the last few pounds of baby weight I’ve been carrying around, and that’s just the way it is. So what’s a girl to do? I feel a lot less guilty with this hearty loaf. It’s easy to bake, tastes great toasted and slathered with jam, and it’s perfect for sandwiches.
I couldn’t hardly wait for this whole wheat loaf to cool before digging in and that first slice hit the spot. Whatever your goals for the new year are, this is a home baked good you can feel good about and enjoy.
How to know when your bread is done
Knowing when bread has baked fully is something I’ve struggled with. The top may be perfectly golden, but how do I know the inside isn’t still doughy? You can test your bread two ways:
- Tap on the top of the loaf and listen for a hollow sound.
- For a more accurate result, use a thermometer and pull the loaf out of the oven when it reaches 190 degrees F.
More baking tips can be found on Red Star Yeast’s online Lessons in Yeast and Baking.
A simple and hearty loaf of bread made with 100% whole wheat flour.
- 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) molasses
- 4 cups (450 grams) whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoon (7 grams) active dry yeast
- In a small saucepan, heat the water, oil, and molasses over medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes (to 120-130 degrees F).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, and yeast. Add the liquids and mix on low until moistened, then increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is firm (I ended up needing a little more than the 2 cups remaining). Knead with the mixer for 3-5 minutes or by hand for 5-8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down the dough, shape it to fit a 9x5 inch loaf pan and let rise again until an indent remains when touched with your finger.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until loaf is golden brown. Let cool completely.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own.