Cost Per Serving:
This wholesome loaf is an adaptation from America’s Test Kitchen and it provides everything you want from a whole wheat sandwich bread: nice wheat flavor, sweet undertones of honey, a slightly denser consistency, and a generous amount of healthy wheat germ, whole wheat and rye. This bread is actually relatively quick to make and this recipe produces two loaves.
Coming from America’s Test Kitchen (Cook’s Illustrated), you can trust that this loaf has been tested numerous times in order to provide a fool proof recipe. And the method is straight forward: it doesn’t require a starter dough since the straight dough method is used. We kneaded this dough by hand, and we provide instructions for that method, you could however knead this dough in a mixer.
Make this nice bread and use it for sandwiches and toast. When toasted, the mellow honey flavor comes through especially well. It is also delicious with just some butter when it’s still warm.
Two 9-inch loaves
2 1/3 cup warm water (110 F)
1 ½ tablespoon instant yeast
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup rye flour
½ cup wheat germ, toasted
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1. Combine water, yeast, honey, butter and salt in a bowl. Add the rye flour and the wheat flour. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 ¾ cup of the whole-wheat flour and the full 2 ¾ cup of the all-purpose flour.
2. Add 4 cups of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes in order to develop the gluten. Add another 1 ½ cups of the flour mixture and beat with the wooden spoon to make a thick dough. Turn it out on a floured surface and work the dough together. Knead for about 3 minutes until you have a nice dough. Cover with and inverted bowl or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Knead for another 5 minutes.
3. Now, place the dough in a lightly greased 2-quart bowl (or dough rising container). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour, ideally in 75 – 80 degrees. (If your kitchen is colder than that, you can put your oven on warm for a minute, then shut it off and leave the dough inside the oven for the rising period).
4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. On the lowest shelf in the oven, place a cast-iron pan or a sheet pan. Above, place a baking stone or a sheet pan.
5. Press down the dough and divide it in two equal pieces. Gently press each piece down into a rectangle, 1 inch thick x 9 inches. Roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the seams together. Place each bread, seam side down in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf. Cover the dough with an oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes.
6. Set the bread on the hot stone. Toss ½ cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and shut the door immediately. Bake for 35 to 46 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and an instant read thermometer in the center reads 205 F degrees.
7. Once the bread is done, remove it from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Let cool completely.