This whole wheat bread recipe makes perfect sandwiches and toast, and it has a rich, complex flavor.
Course: Bread and Pizza
2tablespoonsactive dry yeast(about 17g)
1cupwarm water(235 ml)
⅓cuppacked light brown sugar(70g)
1egg(at room temperature)
1cupmilk(235 ml, at room temperature)
3cupswhole wheat flour(each cup weighs about 140 grams)
3cupsall-purpose flour(each cup weights about 130 grams)
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand for 15 minutes until foamy.
While the yeast is working, whisk together the melted butter, light brown sugar, egg, milk, and salt. Make sure everything is dissolved and thoroughly combined. With the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low, and add the whole wheat flour to the milk mixture one cup at a time.
Now add the foamy yeast liquid to the dough, keeping the mixer on low speed until you get a well combined wet dough mixture (see the photo). This process will take a few minutes. Now it’s time to add the all-purpose flour, ½ cup at a time, with the mixer still at low speed. Added on 4/12/2018: Change to adding 1 tablespoon at a time with the last 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour until the dough "lifts" away from the sides of the mixing bowl, because you might not need all 3 cups of all-purpose flour in the drier months.
If the dough is still wet, add one tablespoon of flour at a time, until the dough “lifts” from the sides of the mixing bowl. Try not to add too much flour, though. The dough should be soft without sticking to your hands or the mixing bowl. Once the dough ball is formed, knead the dough for another 5 to 7 minutes. The additional kneading helps generate more gluten, and gluten is what gives the bread its signature texture!
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel, and let it proof at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
While the dough is proofing, grease two loaf pans with butter, and set them aside. I usually just rub a cold stick of butter along the sides and bottoms of the pans.
Once the dough is done with the first hour of proofing, punch it down, and put it back in the mixer. Mix the dough on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes to get rid of any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf, and place into each of your greased loaf pans.
Cover the loaves once again with your clean kitchen towel, and let them proof for another 30 minutes at room temperature, until almost doubled in size. (The dough will continue to rise during baking as well.)
While the dough is proofing, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Before putting the loaves in the oven, quickly brush the tops with oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If the color of the bread gets too dark, tent the loaves with aluminum foil.
After baking, carefully take the loaves out of the baking pan, and let them cool on a rack. If not, hot steam will moisten the crust, which you don’t want! Once the bread is completely cooled, store them in zip-top bags.