Whole Wheat Loaves, Sweet and Savory
In the past couple of weeks, I have made 8 loaves of bread. I never buy bread anymore, except if it is for a special purpose, such as hamburgers or tortillas. It’s not necessarily because I think that my bread is better than any bread I could buy (some of it is and some of it isn’t), but mostly because I just love baking bread and I also love variety in my breads. Most of the time, I can’t find the variety that I like to have in my bread diet, even at the local artisan bakery. I like playing with different flavor combinations, different mixing methods, and bread from different countries. I find all the different variations of bread around the world fascinating and delicious.
All that being said, I also love having just plain old bread. This week’s twd recipe, Whole Wheat Loaves, fit this bill perfectly. But, of course, since the recipe makes two loaves, I couldn’t help tinkering with one to give me the variety that I like.
I started by just measuring out all the ingredients into my mixer bowl. With instant yeast, you can do this since it does not require any dissolving or proofing.
Perhaps my dough was a little stiff, since it was not at all sticky like the recipe said it would be, though it was a nice, smooth dough after its ten minutes of kneading. It rose nicely and in a timely manner, which is really convenient in a bread dough recipe. Actually, I guess that has more to do with the health of your yeast than the recipe itself.
Next, I shaped one half of the dough for a plain loaf and played with the second half. If you’ve read my most recent posts, you will know that I have a plethora of apples hanging out in my house. I decided to include some in the bread, but, because this was a soft bread, I wanted the apples to be soft as well. While the dough was doing its first rise, I peeled and sliced some apples and sauteed them in a little butter and brown sugar. Then, once it was cool, I spread them out over the other half of the bread dough and rolled it up.
They baked up pretty well. The loaf on the right is the plain one and is a little smaller.
I like how a little apple pokes out of the middle of the apple loaf. I can’t tell you how this loaf tasted just yet since I put it in the freezer. We already had too much bread in the bread box and I do not like for any of my homemade bread to go bad, so one of them had to go in the freezer. The plain one got to stay because we have some days this week that need brown bag lunches and the apple bread seemed more like a breakfast bread to me.
The plain loaf sliced like a dream and was wonderful in our sandwiches yesterday. It has a nice wheatiness, but is also a little sweet from the honey. I used a mixture of stone ground whole wheat and white whole wheat flours and it turned out really well. I can’t wait to try the apple one. It will probably come out later this week or early next week. I’ll let you know.