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This bread recipe has replaced my need for store bought bread!  It’s so easy and can be done in an afternoon with about half an hour of actual work.  I adapted it from Meghan Monahan’s Honey Wheat Bread recipe at http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/honey-wheat-bread-ii/Detail.aspx.  I changed All-Purpose Flour to Bread Flour.  The bread flour makes the deliciously chewy quality of bread.

I recommend using Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Flour and King Arthur Bread Flour. 

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups whole wheat flour

4 1/3 cups bread flour

Directions:

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add honey and stir well.  Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil.  Work bread flour in gradually.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes.  When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl.  Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough and cover with a damp cloth.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough.  Shape into two loaves and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 ½ inches about pans, 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Place bread onto a cooling rack.  Do not cut into bread until it has fully cooled.  Freeze one loaf and save for later.

How to know when you are done kneading:

When you can stretch a small piece of the dough into a very thin, translucent rectangle without tearing it, you are done kneading.  If you knead the dough by hand, you cannot knead it too much, so just keep going!  Also, when the dough is done, it will be smooth and when you press it slightly with your finger, it will bounce back.  For more information, go to http://www.wikihow.com/Knead-Dough and http://www.make-your-own-bread.com/kneading.html.

How to know when your bread is done:

Your bread should slide out of the pan on its own when it is turned upside down.  The bottom will be hard to the touch.

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