Whole Wheat Bread

Hello all. This is my first attempt at doing something I’ve been considering for a long time: blogging about food. I love to cook. But most of all, I love to eat. As I venture into blogdom, a bowl of whole wheat bread dough is rising in the kitchen.

The authors of King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking promise that this bread is the Holy Grail of whole wheat breads. I agree. It’s the best whole wheat bread recipe I’ve ever tried. They say you’ll find yourself making it over and over again. Have I ever.

Even though King Arthur calls this sandwich bread, it’s actually not that great for sandwiches. It’s better by itself, or slathered with some butter or honey.

The orange juice in this recipe cuts the bitterness of the whole wheat. The potato flour makes the loaf soft. The result is a close-grained bread that’s delicious fresh from the oven. It’s pretty darn good a day or two later, but I usually pop it in the toaster it to bring out its buttery flavor.

100 % Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) orange juice
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
3 cups (12 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
Heaping 1/2 cup (1 1/4 ounces) dried potato flakes or 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Combine all the ingredients, and mix. Cover and let sit for about 8 minutes. This gives the yeast a jump start. Then knead by hand, mixer or bread machine until you have a soft, smooth dough. This takes about 12 minutes with a stand mixer. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it’s puffy and nearly doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place it in the prepared loaf pan.

Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until it’s over the rim of the pan, 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Near the end of the rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover and bake the bread for about 35 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15. The bread is done when it’s golden brown and an instant read thermometer reads 190 degrees F. Remove from oven. After a minute or so, turn out the loaf onto a rack. Brush with melted butter. This will keep the crust soft. Cool bread for 30 minutes before serving.


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