Homemade Wheat Bread

A delicious and simple recipe for homemade bread with a great texture!

I’ve been looking for a very simple wheat bread recipe for a long time. The ones I’ve tried in the past involved lots of complicated steps and procedures and the end result wasn’t worth all the effort.

Then I tried KAF’s Classic Sandwich Bread recipe and found a winner! The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, and the results are always consistent.

Of course, I did some of my usual substitutions and alterations:

  • I swapped out half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour contains more fiber and gives the bread a nice heartiness (and less gumminess, in my opinion).

  • I reduced the sweetener to 1 tablespoon and used honey instead because I like how it tastes with wheat flour.

how to make bread Dough

In a small bowl, mix together 1/3-1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon honey. Sprinkle on 2 teaspoons yeast and let sit about 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

If using a stand mixer, add 1 1/2 cups each of whole wheat and all-purpose flours and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to the bowl of the mixer.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, 1/2 cup milk, and 3 tablespoons oil.

Turn the mixer on low and mix until the flour gets incorporated into the liquids. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until a soft dough forms, about 4-6 minutes.

If mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon to slowly stir the flour and liquids. When a dough forms, transfer it to a greased surface. Then with oiled hands, knead the dough for 6-8 minutes until it becomes smooth.

You’ll know when the dough is kneaded enough when it is soft, tacky but not sticky, and springs back when gently pressed.

how to proof dough

Then place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or container. I prefer using a proofing container because it’s clear and has measurements on the side.

Cover well with a plate or lid and place in a warm spot for 30-60 minutes until it has doubled in size.

If it’s cold in your house or you can’t find a warm spot, here are some tips:

  • Leave in the oven with the oven light turned on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Place in a room with a space heater.
  • Place near a window that receives a lot of sunlight.

Wherever you decide to keep it make sure the dough doesn’t over proof or it will end up deflating.

That’s why I like using a container with measurements, so I can see exactly when it has doubled in size.

Shaping Bread

In the meantime, lightly grease an 8½ inch- 4½ inch loaf pan.

Once the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate it by turning it out onto a lightly greased or floured surface.

Roll and shape the dough into a rectangular 8 inch log about the length of the loaf pan.

Place in the loaf pan and loosely cover it with greased plastic wrap.

Leave the dough to rise in a warm place a second time until it has puffed about 1 inch above the top of the pan, and springs back when gently touched.

This should take about 1 hour and is known as the “second rise.”

Baking the Bread

About 10-15 minutes before the second rise is done, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Then bake the bread for 30-35 minutes until it is golden brown on top.

You’ll know it is done when the internal temperature is about 190°F in the center and it sounds hollow when the bottom of the loaf is tapped.

Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack, and make sure it is completely cooled before slicing.

The bread can be stored at room temperate for several days in a bag or container with a lid. Or it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and foil and frozen for a few months.

how to slice bread evenly

Though fresh baked bread is delicious, cutting into it right away might result in a doughy interior.

Bread needs to be cooled all the way through to allow steam to escape. This prevents gumminess and will give you cleaner slices. The first time I baked a loaf, I couldn’t wait to cut into it and ended up tearing it.

Bread also freezes well. Though you can freeze it as a whole loaf, I prefer slicing it beforehand.

Here’s how I get perfectly even slices:

  • First score the loaf across the middle all the way around.
  • Then using a serrated bread knife cut across the scored line all the way through the bread until there are two halves.
  • Take each half and score again, across the middle all the way around. Cut along that line until there are another two halves. Keeping slicing this way until you have 12-16 slices.

This is a great basic bread recipe, perfect for all types of sandwiches, French toast, bread pudding, or stuffing.

For French toast, I slice the loaf into 12 thick slices. For sandwiches, I slice into 16 pieces.

 

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “It’s very fluffy and sweet!”
7 year-old: “I like it because I like all kinds of bread.”


Homemade Wheat Bread

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A delicious and simple recipe for homemade bread!
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 112 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ⅓- ½ cup (80-120ml) warm water (109-113℉)
  • 1 tbsp (21g) honey
  • 2 tsps instant yeast
  • cup (180g) whole wheat flour
  • cup (180g) all-purpose flour
  • tsp salt
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk, room temp
  • 3 tbsps (45 ml) oil

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, warm the water (109-113℉) and stir in the honey. Sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit about 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

If using Stand Mixer:

  • In a bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the flours and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, milk, and oil. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the flour gets incorporated into the liquids. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until a soft dough forms, about 4-6 minutes.

If Mixing By Hand:

  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, milk, and oil. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir until the flour gets incorporated into the liquids. When a dough forms, transfer it to a greased surface, and with oiled hands, knead the dough 6-8 minutes until it becomes smooth.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased container, cover, and leave in a warm place for it to rise and become puffy. It should take about 1-2 hours. In the meantime, lightly grease a loaf pan (8½ inch- 4½ inch).
  • Transfer the dough back to the greased surface, gently deflating it at the same time. Shape it into an 8 inch log. Place in the loaf pan and loosely cover it with greased plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise a second time until it has puffed about 1 inch above the top of the pan, and springs back when gently touched. This should take about 1 hour.
  • 10-15 minutes before the hour is up, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes, until it is golden brown on top. It is done when the internal temperature is about 190°F in the center, and it should sound hollow when the bottom of the loaf is tapped.
  • Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack, and make sure it is completely cooled before slicing. The bread can be stored at room temperate for several days in a bag or container with a lid. Or it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, and frozen for a few months.

Notes

Dough: Dough is kneaded properly when it is soft, tacky but not sticky, and springs back when gently pressed.
Cooling: Make sure to let the loaf cool for several hours before slicing. I would even suggest chilling it in the fridge before slicing so it hardens up a bit.
Servings: For French toast, I slice the loaf into 12 thick slices. For sandwiches, I slice into 16 pieces.
Recipe Adapted from: King Arthur’s Classic Sandwich Bread 
Keyword bread, sandwich, wheat flour

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