Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Experimental Baking – Honey Whole Wheat Bread – Part 2 (with recipe)

Hooray! The dough rose as it was supposed to for me!

On Monday, I baked bread for the first time in years.  If you’d like to read about my experience, click here for yesterday’s post.   Today, I’m sharing a picture of how the loaves turned out and the recipe.   The bread is hearty, filling, and delicious!  I’ve been eating it with butter spread on it in the mornings, but I can’t wait to try using it for a sandwich.  We also enjoyed it sliced, spread with butter, and sprinkled with garlic salt then put in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes as garlic bread with our Parmesan chicken earlier this week.

Delicious warmed and spread with butter!

Here’s the recipe that even I didn’t mess up.  🙂

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

from Farm Journal’s Best-Ever Recipes (1977), edited by Elise W. Manning, p. 132

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1/2 c. lukewarm water (110 to 115°)

6 tbsp. shortening

1/4 c. honey

4-1/2 c. lukewarm water (110 to 115°)

4 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. instant mashed potatoes (not reconstituted)

1/2 c. nonfat dry milk

1 tbsp. salt

6-1/2 to 8 c. sifted flour

Sprinkle yeast on 1/2 c. lukewarm water; stir to dissolve.

Melt shortening in 6-qt. saucepan; remove from heat.  Add honey and 4 1/2 c. lukewarm water.

Mix whole wheat flour (stirred before measuring), instant potatoes, dry milk, and salt.  Add to saucepan; beat until smooth.

Add yeast and beat to blend.  Then with wooden spoon, mix in enough flour, a little at a time, to make a dough that leaves the sides of the pan.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny and small bubbles appear, 8 to 10 minutes.  (I didn’t see these bubbles appearing.)

Place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  Punch down dough, turn onto board and divide in thirds.  Cover and let rest 5 minutes.  Shape into 3 loaves and place in greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake in 400° oven about 50 minutes or until bread tests done.  Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.  Makes 3 loaves.

Note:  You may use 1 c. mashed potatoes in place of instant potatoes.  Combine with the honey-water mixture.




Experimental Baking – Honey Wheat Bread – Part 1

I have found that I have a tendency to binge bake.  Before Christmas, I had a desire to make every type of cookie I’d craved throughout the year and was disappointed when I didn’t get them all made.  Back in July, at county fair time, I filled my head with ideas of bringing home purple ribbons for beautiful loaves of bread and other baked goods while I finished trying new canning recipes and harvesting in our garden.

I never baked that bread, though.  Honestly, any ribbon I would have won would have been by chance or grace since I’ve never really baked bread.

Yeast dough rather intimidates me.  I didn’t help Mom bake bread growing up.  When I had baker duty at my scholarship house in college, the more experienced bakers paired with me decided it was easier for them to make the dinner rolls than for them to teach me, I think.  My only instruction with this type of dough has consisted of a kolache-making class at a community college about ten years ago.

I also have this silly sense of pride (or disillusionment) that I’ll be able to do anything I want to, though, and so, checking to make sure the needed ingredients were on hand, I held my breath and began to attempt the recipe of honey wheat bread Monday afternoon.

Lukewarm water.  You’d think that’d be easy, right?  For those of you more experienced than I am, please chuckle.  🙂  I don’t trust my senses for feeling if the water is “just right,” due to my inexperience.  A temperature range was given in the recipe, but then I found I wasn’t trusting my measurement device (thermometer) either.  I knew if the water was too cold, it wouldn’t activate the yeast.  Too hot, and I would kill it.  (I do have enough practice to have erred on both sides of this.)  I did end up going more by feel, but with very little assurance.

I measured and mixed a midst various distractions from my toddler.  I kneaded by hand, though not satisfied that I had achieved the “satiny” finish that the recipe mentioned.

We went out for groceries, and when we returned, ALLELUIA!  The dough had risen!  JOY!  I punched it down, separated the three loaves, and let it rise again while I started making supper.

At 8:00 that night, I pulled the bread from the oven.  It looked good!  It smelled good!  And it tastes delicious!  In my next post, I’ll share the recipe.

Stay tuned,


For the recipe, see my post: Experimental Baking – Honey Wheat Bread – Part 2