Honey whole wheat sandwich bread

I've been wanting to get back into bread making - we go through a lot of bread in this house.  My kids love bread - they love toast and sandwiches, and just bread.  And if you read the ingredients list of a lot of breads, it can be a little scary.  I buy good bread, and good bread is expensive.  So I thought I'd try making my own. 

I used to make bread years ago, but then I was more focused on white breads - french, rustic country style, sourdough, etc.  But now my motivation was about finding a good whole wheat sandwich loaf - healthy for my kids, with a little sweetness, and an easy size for toast and sandwiches. 

I had some criteria - it needed to be all whole wheat flour, very few (all natural) ingredients, and easy.  The recipe I settled on is very simple - it's all done in my kitchenaid mixer - no extra kneading, no adding things a little at a time, and only 6 ingredients for the basic version.  I found a couple recipes online, and adapted a bit to suit my style.

This recipe is vegan - but a little butter certainly could make it even better!  I found a lot of recipes that called for a mix of flours, and some milk, and dry milk powder, and sugar, and dough conditioner, etc. - too much stuff!  This one is very basic. 

The basic recipe:

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

5 - 6 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup honey

2 cups water (120 -130 degrees)

1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

To make in the KitchenAid mixer - with the dough hook:

  • Mix 5 cups of flour and salt
  • Mix the water, oil, honey and yeast.
  • Add the liquid to the flour in the mixer bowl
  • mix on low speed until combined
  • rest for 20 minutes
  • mix again vigorously for a couple minutes - until it's pulling away from the bowl (I added an extra 1/2 cup flour at this point).
  • cover the mixer and let rise in the mixer bowl until at least doubled - in my kitchen this was about 90 minutes.
  • mix again for a few minutes until pulling away and forming a nice ball again.
  • divide in two, shape and plop into a greased loaf pan
  • rise again in the loaf pans - spray a little oil on top, cover with plastic, set on top of the stove as the oven preheats (nice and warm).
  • sprinkle the tops of the loaves with some kosher or sea salt
  • bake - 300 convection for 45 minutes (or I think about 350 in a traditional oven)

So I made this basic recipe last week and it was pretty good.  I used Bob's Red Mill Organic wheat flour.  Today I cut back on the flour - started with 4 cups and added an extra 1/2 cup while mixing - and I added 1 cup of rolled oats and 1 cup of wheat germ.  I thought a little extra texture would be nice.  And the oil I am using is an organic coconut oil.  The dough is a bit sticky - but plopping a sticky mound of dough in a greased loaf pan worked ok, and I didn't want to dry it out by adding more flour.

I think it turned out great - and my four little food critics seemed to agree, they were gobbling it up as quick as I could slice it.  I think it will be very good in the morning toasted with a little butter, or as a nice cheese sandwich for a five year old's lunch.  Not bad for having not made bread in 10 years - and I expect this to get even better as I keep experimenting.