Homemade Hearty Honey Wheat Bread

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I’m not typically the type to make my own bread. With row upon row of options at the grocery store, it’s tough to talk myself into spending an afternoon in the kitchen when I can grab a loaf for less than $4. I was reminded of what I was missing during our family Christmas celebration, when my uncle brought a couple of his homemade loaves to enjoy alongside our soup. It was a delicious change of pace from the slices I find on the supermarket shelves. Each bite had substance—a real difference compared to those airy wheat breads that occasionally wind up in my cart.

Uncle Jim was kind enough to share his recipe with me, and since I had some spare time during my holiday vacation, I decided to give the artificial ingredient-free recipe a shot myself! Take one, it was clear that my bread baking skills were in knead of some work (I couldn’t resist!). A lack of patience in the rising, baking and cooling stages meant my finished product was a little doughy in the middle. Take two, after a few helpful hints from my bread pro Mom, I ended up with a flavorful, just-sweet-enough whole grain treat.

I tweaked Jim’s formula a bit based on the ingredients I had on-hand, and in the process realized that this is a pretty flexible recipe. Feel free to add flax seeds or another whole grain in place of the quinoa or cereal. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying this with other types of flours, such as quinoa, oat and whole-wheat pastry.

Hearty Honey Wheat Bread

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Serves 14

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 5/8 cup white flour
  • 1 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons dry white quinoa, dry 8-grain cereal mix or millet
  1. Pour honey and water in a 2-cup or larger glass measuring cup, warm in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  2. Add yeast to liquid and let it bloom until the mixture reaches the 1 3/4 cup mark or higher.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then pour in liquid.
  4. Stir until flour is evenly combined. Turn out dough onto a clean surface and knead for about three minutes or until dough feels elastic yet not too sticky.
  5. Place dough back in the mixing bowl and let it rise for one hour.
  6. Punch down the dough, shape it into a loaf and add it to a foil-lined bread pan.
  7. Allow dough to rise again for two hours.
  8. Bake in a 350° oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the top of the loaf reaches desired doneness.
  9. Remove pan from oven and wait until bread is completely cooled before slicing.

Nutrition information per slice (with quinoa): 123 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein

What is your favorite bread variety? Do you ever make your own bread?

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