Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

This is a recipe that I found on the King Arthur Flour website. It works. I’m learning that some of the other recipes that I was using and getting poor results were because they didn’t have enough water in them.  Especially when using whole wheat flour–this stuff takes a lot of water to hydrate properly.  You get a stiff dough that doesn’t rise properly and is a bear to knead!  Also, the spiral of rolling the bread into a loaf before putting it into the pan will show in the finished product, because the dough won’t adhere to itself during the final rise.  So make sure you give your dough adequate water and time to hydrate.

100% Whole Wheat Bread
100% Whole Wheat Bread

 

100% Whole Wheat Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 8 to 10 ounces lukewarm water*
  2. 1 3/4 ounces vegetable oil
  3. 3 ounces honey, molasses, or maple syrup
  4. 14 ounces King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe
  6. 1 ounce Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
  7. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  8. *Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.
Instructions
  1. 1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for “dough” or “manual.”) Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
  2. 2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  3. 3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1″ above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. 4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
  5. 5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
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