My first loaf: Whole Wheat Bread


Well, I don't know how many of you have ever baked your own sandwich bread, but I have way more respect for bakers now.  This loaf of bread took three days to make... mostly because I started too late at night twice in a row.

The most difficult part was making the most efficient time of the process, but the recipe from Cook's Illustrated March-April 2011 Issue is really enjoyable to follow.

Here's the ingredients list, but what really makes it is the process...
2 Cs bread flour
1 Cs warm water (100-110 degrees)
1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast

3 Cs (16 1/2 ounces) whole-whet flour plus extra kneading
1/2 C wheat germ
2 Cs (16 ounces ) whole milk

1/4 C honey
4 tsps table salt
6 tblsps unsalted butter, softened
2 tblsps vegetable oil

It's too long to explain here (and you can find the whole process online here), but in short there are independent rising times, dough flattening, folding, rolling, more rising time, pizza stones, and finally water in the oven so the crust browns, but doesn't burn.  The bread is delicious.  For me, it was absolutely worth the trouble, and I'm enjoying every bite!
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