Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rating: 5 hefty stars!
It's jam season. Do you know what that means? I want to eat jam. All. The. Time. And, though my awesome 5-minute boule is good for many things, it's not a fabulous bread to have with jam. I like to have a good whole wheat sandwich bread on hand for my jam sessions. The problem? Until this week, I didn't have the "perfect" whole wheat bread recipe—my basic Whole Wheat Sandwich bread took too long and wasn't amenable to storing (which means no fresh bread every morning!), and my 100% Whole Wheat sandwich bread had too many ingredients and wasn't quite what I was looking for anyway.
Enter my decision to try to make my OWN 5-minute bread stored dough recipe! I've spent enough time reading and making the recipes from "Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes A Day" that I figured I had a pretty good handle on what elements were essential to the stored dough process. Accordingly, I took my beloved Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread and tweaked it until I ended up with what is, in my opinion, the BEST jam-friendly bread EVER! So here, for your culinary pleasure, is my very own bread recipe.
Cindy's 5-Minute Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 generous T salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4-2 1/2 cups white flour* (see note at bottom)
Oatmeal, seeds, any desired toppings
In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine water, yeast, and salt. Add oil and honey and mix a little bit. Add in flour (holding back the last 1/4 cup to make sure your dough is not too dry) and mix ingredients together. Dough should NOT form a ball, and should still be fairly sticky, but you want it to be oozy, not runny! If needed, add more flour. Transfer into a 5-quart plastic container (or a metal bowl lined with wax paper/freezer paper/plastic wrap). Obviously, if you have a mixing bowl that is at least 5 quarts and plastic, you can do this all in one bowl! Cover with something that is not airtight (but DON'T use a towel, or the dough will stick to it... trust me!) and let rise for 2 hours on a draft-free countertop. At the end of the 2 hours, you can shape a loaf or store in the fridge. When you are ready to shape a loaf: Grease loaf pan. Sprinkle flour liberally on top of dough, and get plenty of flour on your hands. Remove a section of dough about the size of a canteloupe. Work into a loose ball (dough will not hold shape very well; that's okay). Set in bread pan. Turn oven to 375 degrees. While oven is heating, let dough rest for about 40 minutes if it has been refrigerated (if it hasn't been it doesn't really need any resting time at all). Just before baking, combine about 1 t. water with 1/2 t. cornstarch. Brush over top of loaf. Sprinkle with desired toppings (oatmeal, seeds, nuts, whatever you feel like—my favorite combination right now is flax & poppy seeds.) With serrated knife, slash loaf three times diagonally across the top. Place on top rack in oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until the top of the loaf is a deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on a rack. Enjoy with butter and your homemade freezer jam! Now pardon me, I have to go
eat the rest of the loaf clean my kitchen.
Yield: I like to use medium-sized loaf pans, which take a fair bit of dough. I estimate that this amount of dough will probably make 2 medium loaves and 1 small loaf, depending on how much dough you use. The recipe can easily be doubled if you have a big enough container (10 quarts or more).
*Extra healthy tip: I have also made this bread recipe using nearly all wheat flour (5 1/2 cups wheat, 1/2-1 cup white) and it works great, especially if I give the dough a little extra resting time before baking it. After much experimentation, I think my favorite flour combo is: 5 1/2 cups of wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour, and 1/2 cup rolled oats. DELICIOUS!