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  • Mary Kay

Mom's...Honey! Whole Wheat Bread

When Mom made homemade bread she usually made 5 loaves at a time - it was a crusty white bread with soft insides. We would run into the house after grade school to smell the delicious aroma of bread baking in the oven. And once in a while she would make a loaf of whole wheat bread, if she happened to have wheat flour on hand.

I love whole wheat honey bread, actually any bread. But this one gives you a nice light crust with a soft crumb on the inside. There's not too much whole wheat flour, so it is not tough and has just enough white flour to give it a softer mouth feel.

This whole wheat bread has local honey inside so why not try it drizzled with honey on the outside? Spread it with soft butter, dipped in hot chili on a cold day, smeared with cream cheese under homemade strawberry jam. Dip it in fresh hot artichoke dip. Or, make the day old slices into grilled cheese to accompany your chili. There are so many ways to enjoy whole wheat bread.

When ready to bake your bread, preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare our loaf pan for baking:

Lightly brush a 9”x5” loaf pan with soft butter.

NOTE: My pan is 9"x4" so I also made a small round loaf baked on a ceramic saucer.

Gather your Ingredients:

1 ½ C Warm water, not hot

1 Pkg Yeast, dry active (.25 oz)

½ C Honey, divided

2 ½ C Flour, white

3 T Butter, melted

½ t Salt

2 C Whole Wheat Flour

Mix it up:

- In an electric stand mixing bowl, stir and dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 3-5 minutes.

- Stir in ¼ cup of honey.

- Stir in 2 cups of white flour by hand until well combined.

- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm area for 30 minutes so the yeast can work.

- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and the other quarter cup of the honey along with the salt.

- With the dough hook in the electric mixer, slowly stir in 1 cup whole wheat flour on low in the electric stand mixer.

- Stir in the rest of the whole wheat flour, beating it on low, then on medium.

- Continue to knead the dough in the electric mixer for 3-5 minutes. It should be coming away from the sides of the bowl but can be a little tacky. Add a little more flour and knead longer if it’s too sticky. Knead in a little more honey if it’s too dry.

- Form the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly buttered bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.

- Turn the dough out of the bowl and form it into a loaf shape and place in the buttered pan. Let rise covered, in a warm place for another hour.

Time to Bake:

- Bake at 350F degrees for 25-30 minutes. If the bread is browning too fast, tent it with aluminum foil for the last 5-10 minutes.

- The bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on top.

- Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

- Brush the leftover melted butter on the top of the warm loaf to help keep the crust from cracking.

- Then slide it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely before slicing it. Of course, the tastiest bread is cut when just a little warm so the butter melts into the soft crumb - Yum!

How to enjoy your fresh whole wheat bread:

- Enjoy your fresh bread with a nice big bowl of chili in the Fall. It’s great for dipping into the hot chili.

- At breakfast time, smear a slice with dreamy soft cream cheese and top it with homemade strawberry or blueberry jam.

- Spread it with softened butter or cream cheese and drizzle with local honey.

- For a snack, break up some of the bread and dip it in fresh baked artichoke dip.

- Toast it for a tuna salad sandwich with tomato and onion slices, lettuce and homemade dill pickles.

- When the bread is a couple of days old, slice it and butter it for a delicious grilled cheese. I like mine sandwiched with two or three types of cheese – cheddar, provolone and a local flavored gouda cheese. Day old bread becomes firmer for making grilled sandwiches.

- Match it up with honey and cream cheese alongside a big bowl of homemade chili!

Whether you like your fresh whole wheat bread toasted, fresh sliced, broken into chunks for dipping, “Bake your own Memories!”

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