A few months back I got into a baking mood and decided to start baking bread, which is odd because J and I hardly ever eat bread at home. Because of this, I go weeks without buying bread at the store, so when either of us ever do get a hankering for a sandwich, we have nothing to put it on!
I used that reasoning to dive into my bread-making adventure. Enter this glorious whole wheat bread recipe. It’ easy to put together, makes plenty of bread (makes two loaves), and it actually has a bit of sweetness thanks to some brown sugar. This is one of J’s favorite breads! It’s also really good toasted, too.
I found this recipe in my trusted Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book: Bridal Edition we received as a wedding gift from J’s aunt and uncle.
Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
2 packages of active dry yeast
1/2 cup of warm water (105 degrees - 115 degrees)
2 cups of milk (I use 2% milk. The original recipe doesn’t specify)
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter instead)
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons of of salt
4 3/4 cups to 5 1/4 cups of bread flour (I use regular flour)
In a small bowl combine yeast and the warm water. Set aside as the yeast dissolves. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to just a simmer, then remove it from heat. Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the shortening (or butter) and brow sugar until the shortening/ butter melts. Then, whisk in the whole wheat flour. Let the mixture cool until lukewarm ( 105 degrees to 110 degrees). Stir in the yeast mixture, egg, and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, (although I continue to mix it on low with the electric mixer) stir in as much as the bread flour mixture as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is almost smooth and elastic. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough in the bowl a couple of times to grease the surface. Cover with a dish towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
Shape each half into a loaf by patting or rolling. Place the shaped halves into the loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until they double in size, about 30 more minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread for 30 minutes; covered loosely with foil to prevent over-browning. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread reads 210 degrees. Immediately remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.