02 September 2008

Wholemeal honey bread

I love baking bread, it is one of those foods that you can't rush, it needs love and attention and never fails to make me feel like domestic goddess. Homemade bread is the best, nothing compares to the aroma that fills the house from bread baking in the oven. Well, maybe the only thing that rivals the smell is the taste of warm bread, fresh from the oven and smothered in butter.

I bake a lot of bread although havent blogged about it, I thinks is probably because it doesn't hang around long enough to have it's photo taken.

My usual homemade breads are a plain white loaf, always popular and naan bread (my personal fave) I try not to eat white bread often, preferring wholemeal / brown loafs in place as I have found homemade brown loafs quite heavy, until I tried this recipe from Rachel Allen.

This brown loaf took my fancy as it uses honey in place of sugar, I prefer natural sugars to processed white sugar, it takes a wee while but is well worth it. This recipe makes enough for two loafs I split the dough and added a bag of mixed seeds to one half of the dough (but forgot to take a picture :)) I think I preferred the seeded loaf and will make this one often.
Rachel Allen's wholemeal honey bread
makes 2 x 900g loaves
450ml warm water
3 tbsp honey
3 tsp dried yeast
600g strong white flour
300g wholemeal flour
2 tsp salt
100g butter,cut into cubes.

In a small bowl, mix the warm water with the honey, add the yeast and leave to stand for 5 minutes until frothy.

Place the flours in a big mixing bowl (or the bowl of a electric mixer) and mix in the salt and then rub in the butter. Pour most of the frothy liquid into the flour and mix to a dough - it should not be too wet and sticky; if it's too dry add more warm water and if it's too wet, add more flour.

Knead by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes (it may only take 5 minutes in a mixer) until the dough is smooth and springy. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm (like a warm spot in your kitchen) for 2-3 hours until it's doubled in size. It has risen enough when it does not spring back when you push your finger onto the dough.

When it's risen, knock back by punching it down in the bowl and kneading on a floured surface for 1 minute. (This is when I add the bag of mixed seeds) Allow to rest on the work surface, covered with a tea towel for 5 minutes before shaping it. (Rachel makes 2 round or oval loaves) Slash the loaves four or five times with a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6.

Place the loaves on a floured baking tray, sprinkle with flour (or more seeds if using) and cover with a tea towel and allow to rise (this may take another 45 minutes) and, again, leave somewhere warm until they have doubled in size. The dough has risen enough when it does not spring back when you push your finger onto it.

Remove the teatowel and bake the bread in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

This is a delicious loaf, very light not dense and heavy. I sliced one loaf and froze it, next time I shall up the ratio of wholemeal flour to white.

This bread will be a regular in our house.


Beth said...

looks great. like the honey instead of sugar

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely, I've bookmarked the recipe but not got round to baking it ... I must and soon.

violets said...

Your bread looks amazing, I love the colour as well as the texture, Mmmm.

Vi xx

Maria said...

You are so right, you can not beat home-made bread! I always make my own. Your bread looks delish.


Rhyleysgranny said...

Looks wonderful. I love honey instead of sugar. I also use maple syrup sometimes. It's lovely too. A perfect looking loaf of bread.

Linda F said...

That looks really lovely- I am so enamoured with home made bread, you cant beat it. Yesterday I used apple syrup for the 'sugar' element and dark molasses, it was really good and gave it a lovely dark colour too!

Rosie said...

I just adore homemade bread and make my own. Your bread looks lovely and with honey added a sure winner!

Rosie x

Anna said...

That looks really good! Yum!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

That looks so good. Making bread is one of my very favourite things. I like that this recipe has so much butter in it :D

Nickki said...

That looks like such a gorgeous loaf. I've been meaning to try this one out, but haven't gotten round to it yet. I must try it very soon. :)

Kelly-Jane said...

I've bookmarked this one as well, looks and sounds lovely.