Is there anything better than homemade Honey Wheat Bread? The smell from the oven as it bakes will have you drooling.
A friend of mine who I really admire is an avid cook — and a great one at that. She’s an awesome mom and wife, works full time and makes it all look effortless (a rare feat for most women). One way she likes to spend time with her kids is by getting them into the kitchen, where they make everything under the sun together. We had dinner at her house a while back and she put out a spread for us that would have made the most talented restaurant chef envious. Right in the center of the table was a loaf of fresh, homemade bread. It was warm, soft, made the whole house smell like a bakery and was nothing like the variety you would buy at the grocery in a plastic bag.
I don’t know many kids who don’t like to play with dough, so I decided to make some Honey Wheat Bread and get Kenya involved in the fun. Breads that contain yeast can be intimidating to bake at first, but this recipe couldn’t be easier. Kenya has a blast dumping all of the ingredients in a bowl, mixing it up, watching the dough rise (a magical site for a little kid) and finally kneading and pulling apart the dough to make rolls for us to eat at dinner and use for sandwiches the next day.
Is it possible to be the perfect mom? Probably not, but at least we can have some fun with our kids and give it a try!
Honey Wheat Bread
- 4 cups plus 1/2 cup extra as needed bread flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 packages (1/4 oz each) dry instant yeast (you can find it at the grocery)
- 2 1/3 cups warm water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Whisk both flours, whole wheat flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a standing mixer*.
- Whisk the warm water, honey and butter in a small bowl until the ingredients dissolve. The mixture should be 110 degrees.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the flour. Stir to combine and knead on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes or use the dough hook in a standing mixer for 5 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Use a tablespoon of bread flour at a time if needed.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth (it’s done when you poke your finger in it and it bounces back).
- Place the dough in a large greased or oiled bowl, cover with plastic and place in a warm area (I like to set it on top of my oven) for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, place it on a floured work surface. Cut into 2 equal pieces if making loaves or into 24 equal pieces if making rolls.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll out each piece into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches and 1 inch thick. Roll up each rectangle starting with a long side into a log. Shape each log into a loaf then transfer each to a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan**. I use olive oil, but butter or other fats/oils work.
- Cover the loaves or rolls with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake 30 minutes for loaves or 15 minutes for rolls, until golden and crusty.
- Allow bread to cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a baking rack and slice.
- Once bread has fully cooled, place in a brown paper bag or wrap in foil at room temperature for 4-5 days. Bread can also be wrapped in foil and placed in a zipper bag to freeze sliced or unsliced for up to 4 months.
- * Using the dough hook of a standing mixer is even easier for combining the dough.
- ** Alternatively divided the dough into 24 pieces, shape into rolls and place on parchment lined sheet trays.