I love to bake bread. If you’ve never tried making bread at home, it’s not as hard as you might think. Yeast is magical and creating a rich and fragrant loaf is so satisfying. This is a soft sandwich style wheat bread. It has 1/3 whole wheat flour to 2/3 white flour, which is a reliable ratio for most bread recipes. Whole wheat flour requires more hydration and patience to yield a soft and light texture, but with these proportions you’ll get good results. The addition of milk and butter also tenderize the wheat but could be left out for a dairy free bread. I used my stand mixer and dough hook for this recipe and it was very easy.
Light Wheat Bread
recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour ( I use King Arthur All Purpose Flour)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water at room temperature
- Stir together the flours, sugar, salt, powdered milk and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and water, stirring until the mixture forms a ball. If needed, add a little more water until the dough is soft and supple. It’s better for the mixture to be a little bit too wet than too dry.
- Knead for 10 minutes by hand or 6 minutes in a mixer. Coat the dough with oil and cover the bowl to let it rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Tip the dough onto a floured surface and press out into a rectangle. Form into a loaf by rolling and pressing the dough into a log, then sealing the ends and tucking under. It is important to shape the dough so that it will rise evenly without any odd lumps. If you have never worked with shaping bread before, here’s a video from King Arthur Flour to help you get started.
- Place the dough in a greased bread pan and mist the top of the loaf with water and cover very loosely so that it won’t stick as it rises. Proof for about 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and register 190 degrees in the center. Remove bread from the pan immediately and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or eating.
- Enjoy with lots of butter!