I *love* making fresh bread all year long. I decided to make a wheat bread this time around. Wowee, it was good. I wolfed down a roll almost (had to let it cool just a bit) straight from the oven!
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (unless your breadmaker heats the water - then it can be cool)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons fast rising yeast
- Mixer Method: In a medium-sized bowl, or in a stand mixer bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir the mixture together, using hands or the mixer. Once the dough begins to pull away from te bowl, then it's time to knead.
- Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 10 minutes, till it's become smooth. Don't walk away from the mixer while it's running! Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl,and turn to coat all sides. Cover the bowl tightly, and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Bread Machine Method: (my favorite way to make bread!)
- Place all of the ingredients into the pan (in the order listed in the ingredient list) of your bread machine. The last item is the yeast which should be placed in a small well in the dry ingredients. Program the machine for manual or dough, and start the machine. Check the dough about half-way through the kneading cycle; it should be soft and smooth, but not too sticky. This time the dough was too sticky and I added about 3 more Tbs bread flour. The last time it was too dry and I had to add more water. A lot of it depends on the humidity/temperature at the time.
- Allow the bread machine to finish the dough.
- When the machine finishes, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a small loaves. This dough is very soft, so use non-stick spray to mold the dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the loaves on the sheet. Cover. Let them rise for about an hour, or until they look a bit puffy, but not necessarily doubled in size.
- Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're fully baked. Remove from the oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Cool completely before storing. Use within 3-4 days.
As always – enjoy!