Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wheat Sandwich Bread

Wheat Sandwich Bread
(adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cook Book, 1963)

1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 c. additional warm water
1/4 c. shortening (I used coconut oil)
1/2 c. brown sugar (or honey)
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 c. - 5 c. all-purpose flour

Soften the yeast in the 1/4 c. of warm (110 degree) water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of a large stand mixer or large bowl, if mixing by hand.  Add remaining warm water, shortening, sugar, whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour.  Begin mixing until all ingredients are incorporated.  Add salt and continue adding additional all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and resilient.  Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl.  Cover and allow to rise for about 1 - 2 hours until doubled in size.

Punch down and divide into 2 portions.  Grease two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" loaf pans.  Shape dough into loaves and place seam-side down into pans.  Cover and allow to rise another hour.   Uncover the loaves and slash a lengthwise cut down each loaf with a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the loaves for about 45 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a rack.

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