There is nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread wafting through the house. I would also argue that there is nothing that tastes better on a cold winter’s day than a slice of fresh bread straight from the oven slathered with butter. Today I want to share with you my family’s favorite bread recipe. I recently got together with my mom and sister and we made bread together. It was so much fun.
First, we got out our trusty grain mill and freshly ground the whole wheat. I think this makes a big difference in the quality of the bread if you are able to grind it within a couple of hours of making the bread. Make sure to inspect your grain for any debris or tiny rocks before placing in the grain mill.
Gather your remaining ingredients and place dough hooks into your mixer.
1. Mix water and yeast with a small amount of honey and let sit until bubbles form.
2. Add remaining honey, salt, oil and 4 cups flour. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.
3. Add flour one cup at time until dough starts licking bowl clean.
4. Knead for 8 minutes on medium to high speed.
5. Place dough in greased bowl and flip dough making sure all sides are covered in oil. Cover with a clean cloth and place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled.
6. Punch down dough and shape into loaves. If you would like, at this step you can also make dough into dinner rolls, pizza crust, cinnamon bread or anything else your imagination conjures up.
7. Let rise again until doubled and then bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes for loaves and slightly less for rolls.
- Water (warm)- 8 cups
- Yeast - 3 Tablespoons
- Honey - 1 cup
- Salt - 2-3 Tablespoons
- Oil - ¼ cup
- Freshly milled Whole Wheat Flour - 18-20 cups
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (approximately 85 degrees F) with one teaspoon honey.
- When it starts to bubble add remaining honey, salt, oil and 4 cups flour.
- Beat in an electric mixer using dough hooks for 2 minutes at medium speed.
- Add 3 more cups flour and mix briefly.
- Add remaining flour one cup at a time until you see the dough start licking the bowl clean. The amount of flour needed is never exact. It varies depending on the humidity in the air and the age of the flour. Knead for approximately 8 min on med to high speed.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and flip dough over in bowl coating all sides of the dough with oil. Cover with a clean cloth and place in a warm spot to rise.
- When doubled in size, punch down dough and shape into loaves, rolls, etc.
- Place in greased loaf pans. Let rise again until almost double.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
- This recipe can be halved
Here is one of our favorite variations of the recipe. Make the recipe above and use one or more loaves to create braided cinnamon loaves.
Take one loaf of dough and roll on floured surface to about a half inch thickness or less. Roll the dough into a rectangle.
Cover with softened butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Cut the dough into 3 equal parts lengthwise.
Tightly roll each part into a rope.
Gently press together the three ropes and tuck under the ends. Begin to braid the three ropes. Continue until you reach the end and then make sure the ends are tucked under the loaf. Place in greased pan and let rise until doubled as mentioned above. Here is what you should end up with:
I hope your enjoyed your journey with me and my family as we keep the tradition of bread-making alive!
If you would like to read more great recipes from some of my friends on the Schoolhouse Crew Review, check out this link.