When I was 20 weeks pregnant with my last baby I graduated college to receive my Bachelor’s degree. It was a major accomplishment that I’d worked hard for. As a graduation present, my parents gave me a check (the best kind of present). I was shocked! My motherly instincts began thinking about things to buy (groceries, diapers, wipes, paying bills, etc). Then I realized that I had worked my rear end off to get that degree, and I deserved to buy something for MYSELF. It didn’t take me long to decide where my “fun” part of the money would go:
I grew up using my mom’s Bosch for everything. She made bread, I made cookies/cakes/brownies. After I got married, I became acquainted with hand mixers. They did the job, and I made bread by hand, but not consistently. I just couldn’t ever get it how I wanted. When I finally got my Bosch, I was in heaven. Since then (3 years ago) I haven’t purchased bread from the store. I’ve bought bagels on occasion, but that’s it. I love my Bosch and don’t know what I’d do without it. I tested out several recipes before landing on my favorite, which came from my sister-in-law. I make bread and buns/rolls every week and a half or so, depending on the weather and our consumption rate! The instructions are for a Bosch, but if you have a kitchen aide or other free standing mixer, that will work too.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
3 c. warm water
2 T. active dry yeast
2/3 c. raw honey
1 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 T. natural salt
9-10 c. whole wheat bread flour
Put warm water in Bosch. Sprinkle yeast on top and cover for about 10 minutes, or until yeast activates (becomes bubbly). Add honey, applesauce, and 5 c. flour. Mix on speed number 2 (or low) until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt. Mix just until combined and let sit for 5 minutes. Begin adding flour while mixing on speed number 4 (or high). Add a cup at a time, until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. Knead on 4 (or high) speed for 10 minutes.
Form loaves and place in greased pans and cover with a clean dish towel to rise. I also make some of mine into buns/rolls, because my girls love them. Let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm place. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I like to just place my bread/buns on top of the oven while it’s preheating. It keeps them nice and warm.
Makes 3 loaves, or 2 loaves and 1 dozen buns/rolls (each “loaf” size makes 1 dozen buns).
Bake bread for 28-35 minutes. If it begins to brown too quickly, cover lightly with foil and continue baking. Bake buns/rolls for 18 minutes (or until golden brown on top).
Remove from pans onto cooling racks.
Tip: Eat a roll fresh out of the oven, slathered in butter and homemade raspberry jam!
Making bread can be intimidating. When I started making bread, I was terrified that the yeast wasn’t bubbling enough and the dough wouldn’t rise. Sometimes it looks really frothy, and other times it doesn’t. But it always raises in the end so I’ve learned not to stress about it. Make sure that the water temperature isn’t too hot. If you wouldn’t wash your face with it, it’s too hot. But you don’t want it cold, either. Just a comfortable to touch, really warm temperature. I’m super technical, I know. Other than the yeast, I think it’s pretty straight-forward. We love this bread around our house (maybe a little too much). I often experiment with other recipes, but for our every day sandwiches and toast, this is our bread. One day I’ll have my own wheat grinder, but until then I buy my flour from Canada. I’ve tried whole wheat bread flour in the States and just can’t find a brand that I love. I would ideally like to grind my own, but have too many “gadgets” on my wish list as it is!