Friday, July 16, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

I've been baking bread for nearly 40 years now (yikes!) and the very first loaf I made was whole wheat, and very successful -- which is probably what launched me into years of bread-baking. Over the years I've tried a lot of whole wheat recipes: liked most, didn't like a few, and have had various favorites. This is my current favorite, a basic recipe that, like many bread recipes, can be treated a variety of ways. It's easy and yields two medium loaves. You can make one with additions, as I did here, or just enjoy the simple, tender goodness as is!



  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 T. yeast
  • 1/2 t. soda
  • about 6 cups flour (I use all whole wheat)


Heat the buttermilk and butter gently until butter is melted; add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water and add to lukewarm buttermilk mixture. Combine 3 c. flour and soda; mix. Add liquid ingredients to flour, mix well, then stir in rest of flour and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn, cover (I used a damp, wrung-out towel), place somewhere warm, and let rise until double -- about 45 minutes. Punch down, divide in half, knead lightly, shape into loaves, and place in greased loaf pans. Cover again and let rise again.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Bottoms will sound hollow when done. Brush tops with butter, milk, or water to keep crust soft. Cool on rack, if you can stand to wait, then slice and savor!


I mixed 1 c. of golden raisins and 1 c. of walnuts with a generous amount of cinnamon; rolled one loaf out fairly thin (about 1/3" or so), covered with nut mixture, and rolled loaf tightly before placing in pan. Yum!

Another filling, on the savory side: rosemary, butter, green onions, chopped.

You can also make this into rolls. It makes good sandwich buns, too -- especially if you add a generous amount of sauteed onions with a little celery seed, sage optional.

No matter how you vary it, this is a tender loaf with a fine grain that slices well. It has a slight tang from the buttermilk and is perfect with just about anything.

Bake, cook, eat, dance, love!

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