Yesterday we had a really fun day at a nearby orchard, picking lots and lots of raspberries and apples. In addition to our hand-picked loot, we also bought quite a few goodies from the store including pumpkin butter (come on, fall!) and three or four kinds of preserves. I figured the only real way to do them right was to eat them on some delicious homemade bread. This wheat bread was the perfect match for our various spreads, but would also be great for sandwiches, toast, etc. It has what I consider the perfect texture: light, smooth and soft, with a gorgeous crust. I only wish the loaves had just a bit more height to them, but it tastes so good, I’m not complaining. I sliced and froze the majority of it so we can use it as we need it. I have a feeling this will now be my go-to homemade bread for everyday use.
Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
Yield: two 9-inch loaves
2 1/3 cups warm water (about 100°)
1 ½ tbsp. instant yeast
¼ cup honey
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ tsp. salt
¼ cup rye flour
½ cup toasted wheat germ
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter and salt with a rubber spatula. Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours.
Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, attach the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.
Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 375°. Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place each cylinder of dough into a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down, pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.
Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim reads 205°, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.
Note: To see instructions for hand-kneading, click the link below for the original recipe.