Bread is daunting. Right? Okay, maybe not. But, yeast is certainly daunting. Yes? Yes. Especially if you’ve never worked with it before. You open that little packet up, and you have thoughts like, “I think these Pop Rocks have gone bad…” Those tiny little spheres of magic have a familiar scent — the smell of fresh baked bread. Kind of sweet, kind of sour.
Let me tell you something, friend. Yeast is totally not scary. I promise. You want to lock pinkies on it? Because I totally will.
There’s only a couple of rules to remember when it comes to yeast: one, when you’re proofing it (aka “activating” it), the water needs to be warm. Not cold. Not boiling. Warm tap water’s just fine. And two, yeast loves sweet, not salty. So, add some sweetness in with the warm water when you’re proofing it (like sugar or honey) and then add the salt in later, with the flour.
Don’t be nervous. You’ve got this! Now let’s make some homemade bread and make your whole house smell amazing.
Whole Wheat Bread
Recipe adapted from Dandee Designs
Makes one 9″ loaf
You will need:
1 c. warm water
1 T. active dry yeast
1/4 c. canola oil
3 T. honey
3 and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 t. salt
1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment), proof yeast in 1/4 c. warm water with a pinch of sugar for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Add remaining water, oil, egg, honey, and half of the flour. Mix well.
3. While mixing, add remaining flour and salt until dough is slightly sticky.
4. Knead by hand (or in mixer with hook attachment) for about 10 minutes. I love kneading by hand and listening to some good music. I’m currently having a major love affair with this song.
5. Form into a loaf, place into a greased 9″ loaf pan, and cover with a dish towel. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise until it doubles, about an hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Brush top of loaf with about a tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
I recommend serving this bread hot from the oven with some compound butter or at room temperature the next morning with your favorite jam.
Bread will keep, well wrapped at room temperature, for about 2 days.