The Standard – Wheat Bread

This is my standard, everyday-use, loaf bread.  The type of bread that is perfect for everything from crunchy morning toast to a fluffy PB&J lunch sandwich.  I use a combination of both whole wheat and white flour in this bread to add substance (fiber and protein) while retaining a light texture.  I further enrich this bread through the use of both eggs and milk providing the beard with a little bit more protein, and a moister interior when baked.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm Milk
  • 2 beaten Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 3 tsp Yeast
  • 2 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten (not necessary, but I had some on hand, and wanted to experiment)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 – 2 cups Flour (I suggest using bread flour if you are not using the vital wheat gluten)
  • Egg Wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water beaten together)
  • roasted Pumpkin Seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk, eggs, honey, yeast, wheat gluten, and 1 cup whole wheat flour together.
  2. Stir it for a couple of minutes before setting it aside.
  3. Allow the sponge to develop for 10-15 minutes.  The yeast should cause the sponge to froth and bubble up.
  4. Stir in the salt and 1/2 cup of flour.
  5. Keep on adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Once you have added at least 1 cup of regular flour, you can alternate between that and whole wheat.  Aim for a 50/50 combination.  The flour in 1 loaf of this bread usually averages out at 3 cups – 1 1/2 cups regular and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, but make sure to have some extra flour on hand for dusting and kneading.
  6. Knead the dough until it bounces back at you, that should take about 10 minutes.
  7. Place the dough in a greased container, and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Form your dough into a loaf, and place it in a greased loaf pan for its second rise, another hour.
  9. Preheat your oven to 375 F (~190 C).
  10. Brush your bread with the egg wash, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  11. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes.

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