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Delightfully Soft, Wonderfully Wholesome Honey Wheat Bread

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Bread-making is certainly less common than it used to be. It requires a time commitment of a few hours, requires a fairly large amount of patience and determination, and with many artisan breads easily available at local supermarkets it may seem hardly worth it to devote the time and energy necessary to make a good loaf of bread. Sure, everyone knows the smell of baking bread is one of the best smells a person can experience, and even many of the artisan loafs for sale still contain a smorgasbord of preservatives not included in your grandmother's recipes, but even with those incentives the process still can seem far too daunting to start a particular bread project.

I'm here to tell you: this recipe is worth it. Like all yeast-bread recipes it does take a good deal of time to obtain a final product, so it's not necessarily a middle-of-the-week project. But if you have a few hours free on a weekend sometime (and, I suppose, aren't on the Atkins diet) I entreat you to give this a go. The crumb is amazingly soft and moist, but still holds together well enough for sandwiches. It's also partly whole-wheat, so it's healthier than many breads.

(I'm going to go step-by-step here, with photos for every step; it may be helpful to open all the steps on one page right off the bat. Within each step, there will be instructions and asides, with the asides separated by being in parentheses -- thus, anyone that just flatly wants to know what to do, you can ignore the parenthesized bits. These asides will make note of some of the reasons why I'm instructing you what to do in that specific way and other expansions on the blunt instructions. I will also list the condensed, aside-and-picture-less recipe in the final slide.)

Let's get started!
 
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joen2 years ago
This brings back memories when I used to make whole wheat bread. I would grind red winter wheat just before I made the bread (fresh ground whole wheat DOES taste better in bread). One thing I learned in the process is to watch the second rise time. If you let it rise too much the dough will use up all its elasticity so that when the loaves are put into the oven the loaves will try to rise further from the heat and can't. The loaf will collapse into a brick. At least with 100% whole wheat bread I found that the second rise time should be 1/2 to 3/4 the first rise time for the loaves to fully expand and not collapse.

I notice that your bread is not 100% whole wheat so your bread may respond differently.

Good instructable!
Wow. This is awesome, and it looks like your bread came out too! I am diving headfirst into sourdough and never thought to include cottage cheese! GENIUS!!

Thanks for the share.