February 17, 2012

Quick Honey Wheat Bread Recipe, a Yeasty Tale

Love me some carbs.

The other day I was going through the usual scramble, trying to figure out what to bring to the From Scratch Club Swap. I had come across a 1 Hour Bread recipe that made three loves; It seemed promising and I thought I'd give it a shot. Ha. After running around for a couple hours collecting ingredients from various stores (it's not that there's anything complicated, it's just that my local stores are not particularly well stocked) I got to work.

What ensued was probably the biggest kitchen disaster I have ever been involved in.

Potential Disaster No. 1 consisted of the fact that I had gotten "super duper active yeast," thinking it was just more likely to work than regular yeast. What I didn't know is that it didn't activate like regular yeast. With regular yeast, you mix the yeast with the sugar and water, made sure it activated, and then added it to the dry ingredients. With super active yeast, you add the yeast directly to the dry ingredients, then heat all the wet ingredients to 120-130 degrees and mixed the liquid in. I was using a triple load recipe, so I had 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of powdered buttermilk in the mixer, meaning if it didn't activate, I had just wasted a whole lot of flour and milk. Oh, and also the recipe directions were not moot, since they were for regular yeast. So, it was a gamble.

I had all of my dry ingredients together and was using Tony's mixer to stir in the yeast. I generally loathe his mixer, but I thought I had finally gotten the hang of it (god, I miss my Kitchen Aid!). Wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Oh my god. I would show you pictures of the aftermath, but I had so much flour on my glass I couldn't see when taking photos and they all came out blurry. You see, the bread hook had caught a hold of a plastic spoon and started whipping it around the bowl, sending flour all over. I quickly reached out and threw the switch to off, BUT! Tony's mixer allows you to go beyond "0" and instead hitting a catch and turning off, it goes to Super Turbo. There was flour everywhere. No joke, every.where. In my bra, in my belly button, in the coffee maker, all over the floor, all over my glasses, all over my Sodastream, the blender, the food. EVERY thing. Biggest cooking disaster EVER.

So at this point I am peeved. I clean up as best as I can. I guess at how much flour, powdered milk and yeast have been thrown out of the blender and just kind of...guess and throw some more of each in. Surely there is no way this bread will rise.

Miracle upon miracle it did!

I now fancy myself a bread maker

The main difference with Super Active Yeast and Active Yeast is that Super Active Yeast only rises once. I'm not sure if it's because of the recipe or because I used Super Active Yeast instead of Active Yeast, or if because I just did one rise, but the bread came out quite dense. I actually like this, as it goes in my upright toaster without falling apart and works great for sandwiches. In the future I might experiment with different types of yeast, and maybe add some more honey, since I like sweat breads.

Here's the recipe for anyone who is interested. You can experiment with what type of flour you used. The original recipe called for white, but I did wheat, you could also try half and half.


I think it kind of looks like a bread brain.


Honey Wheat Bread
~ Makes 3 loaves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 4 Tbs yeast
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Cup very soft or melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dry milk powder (regular or buttermilk, again, your choice)
  • 8 cups flour


Directions for Regular Yeast:
  1. Mix water, yeast and honey together, let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in mixer.
  3. Add yeast mixture.
  4. Combine until the mixture resembles bread dough.
  5. Remove mixture from bowl and set aside for a few minutes while you butter bread pans.
  6. Separate dough into 3 loaves and continue to knead to remove bubbles.
  7. Shape dough and lay in pans. 
  8. Cover with a towel and place in a warm, dry area. Allow dough to rise 30-45 minutes, or longer if you like. Dough should at least rise to the level of the pan.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes.
  10. To check if the bread is done, turn it out of the pan and tap the bottom, if it makes a hollow drum sound then the bread is done. Set loaves to cool, a cookie rack is ideal.

Directions for Super Active Yeast:
  1. Mix all dry ingredients (including yeast)
  2. Combine water, honey and butter - heat to 120 to 130 degrees.
  3. Temper eggs using the heated water/honey/butter mixture.
  4. Add eggs to the rest of the liquid ingredients, and then follow steps 4 and on from above -
  5. Remove mixture from bowl and set aside for a few minutes while you butter bread pans.
  6. Separate dough into 3 loaves and continue to knead to remove bubbles.
  7. Shape dough and lay in pans. 
  8. Cover with a towel and place in a warm, dry area. Allow dough to rise 30-45 minutes, or longer if you like. Dough should at least rise to the level of the pan.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes.
  10. To check if the bread is done, turn it out of the pan and tap the bottom, if it makes a hollow drum sound then the bread is done. Set loaves to cool, a cookie rack is ideal.

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