It's family time again and I'll be gone for a while. I thought this would be a good time to reprise some of the recipes you've indicated to be your favorites. Beginners Whole Wheat Batter Bread received a lot of attention, so I've brought it back for an encore performance.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is the first yeast bread I was taught to make. I was twelve years old at the time and learned this technique in the kitchen of a neighbor. It is a perfect beginners bread because it truly can't fail, though it does require a stand mixer or a very strong arm to make that miracle happen. This recipe makes a very wet dough that is not kneaded or shaped into loaves. The mixer does all the work. The shaggy dough is dropped into a bread pan and you can, if you wish, smooth the top a bit. Times have changed. When I first made this bread the whole wheat flour on the grocer's shelves was still called graham flour and yeast came in small cakes. I clearly remember we had to use molasses as a sweetener because honey was not yet generally available to folks living in the city. This bread has surprising flavor, a wonderful crumb and it makes great sandwiches. It can also handle the addition of nuts or seeds if you like them in your bread. It stays fresh for several days if it is wrapped and kept at room temperature. If you are new to bread baking, or have a young daughter who is interested in learning how to make bread, this is a wonderful starter recipe. It makes a lovely bread and those of you who try it will be pleased with the loaf you produce. Here's the recipe.
Beginner's Whole Wheat Batter Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 cups warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey or molasses
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
1) Place water in bowl of an electric mixer. Add yeast and honey or molasses. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2) Set mixer to low speed. Beat in 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, salt and butter. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Reduce speed to low to add reserved 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Beat just until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3) Stir dough down by beating for 25 strokes with a wooden spoon. Spread dough into a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread pan. Cover loosely with a flour rubbed dish towel and let rise until dough rises to top of pan, about 1 hour. A floured towel is used to prevent dough from sticking to it. Do not use plastic wrap. Dough will stick to it and deflate when wrap is removed.
4) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake bread in center of oven until it is browned and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.
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