Honey Wheat Bread

As has been mentioned a few times I have a full household here. This means that one of the things we use a lot of is bread. My husband, in particular, has an appreciation of bread with flavor. He finds most white breads boring in particular white sandwich bread from the store which kinda tastes like…well… air. As well I have teenagers who want bread on hand all the time for quick sandwiches, toast and just eating. All of this means that I’m continually playing with bread recipes and narrowing down our current favorites. (The list chances a lot though we do have some top of the listers).

Right now our absolute favorite bread for sandwiches is a Honey Wheat bread which is so so easy to make. It’s one of those recipes where you combine all the dry ingredients and the yeast, warm all the wet ingredients, dump together and knead like crazy. This Honey Wheat Bread is an excellent sandwich bread with enough density to hold up to jams, jellies, peanut butter, lunch meat, eggs, and really anything else we’ve thrown at it, but also light enough that you don’t feel like you’re chewing on a tree branch. As I’ve talked about with other breads I use a generous amount of Ultra Gel in this Honey Wheat Bread to get better yeast action and to help keep the bread moist and flavorful. This is a good sized batch, making 3-4 medium loaves or two large ones.

I saw this recipe initially on Recipe Girl (an excellent website) and modified from there, but you really should check out her site. She’s awesome.

honey wheat bread

Honey Wheat Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups bread flour (I use a bread flour and white wheat flour mix)

2 Tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast

6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/4 cup honey (I never measure this. I just go with one big scoop.)

2 cups water

1 cup milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, yeast and Ultra Gel. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine the honey, water, milk and butter. Microwave in 20-30 second bursts until liquid is about 108 degrees. ((Slightly warmer than typical yeast water, but not by much. You don’t want to kill your yeast even though it is insulated a bit by being mixed with the dry ingredients.)) Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well using your dough hook attachment, or a big wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease. Add more bread flour a 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes together. The final dough should be soft and only slightly sticky to the touch. Knead additionally on a counter if needed, but don’t over knead it. You want a medium gluten build for this recipe.

Place dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or a little plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, 30-45 minutes. I keep mine in the microwave since that’s out of the way, and the confined space holds heat and moisture. Remove and form into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Proof until double in size.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the outside is dark golden brown and the internal temperature is around 200 degrees. Brush the top of the loaves with butter while they’re still warm. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and continue cooling. Serve and enjoy!

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