The result was FANTASTIC. This bread is this bread fluffy, slightly sweet and utterly delicious. The addition of olive oil keeps the crust nice and soft which is perfect for sandwiches. The aroma that this bread creates as it bakes is absolutely heavenly. So good, in fact, that my landlord (who lives behind me) HAD to come over and find out what I was baking. Now there is a new rule: every time I bake a loaf, I have to bake one for her too :D
Hopefully that's evidence enough to convince you to bake one yourself.
Total Recipe cost: $1.34
Servings Per Recipe: 12-16 slices
Cost per serving: $0.11 per slice (12)
Prep time: 20 min. Rise Time: 1.5 hrs. Cook time: 30 min. Total: 2.5 hrs.
|1.25 cups||warm water||$0.00|
|3 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.30|
|1.5 cups||whole wheat flour||$0.38|
|2-3 cups||all purpose flour||$0.21|
STEP 1: Combine the warm water, yeast and honey. Stir to dissolve and allow to sit until the yeast becomes foamy on top. This may take longer than usual (up to 10 minutes) because the concentration of the honey.
STEP 2: Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir in the olive oil and salt. Next, stir in the 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Begin to add the all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you can no longer stir it with a spoon.
STEP 3: Turn the ball of dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the rest of the AP flour. You will use between 2 and 3 cups of all purpose flour total depending on the moisture content of your environment and flour. Keep adding flour and kneading until you have a soft, elastic but not sticky ball. Knead for about 3 minutes.
STEP 4: Loosely cover the ball of dough and allow it to rise until double in size (about 45 minutes). Shape the dough into a log the length of your bread pan. Coat the bread pan with non-stick spray or oil and place the dough inside. Allow the dough to rise again until double in size (another 45 minutes).
STEP 5: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut a long slit in the top of the dough to allow for expansion during cooking (a serrated bread knife works great). Once the oven is fully heated, bake the bread for 30 minutes until deep golden on top. Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
NOTE: I like to store my bread in a the refrigerator which will double it's life span. The bread must be cooled completely before placing it in the refrigerator or else it will form condensation and cause the bread to get soggy. I keep it in a zipper bag and only slice off as much as needed at one time.
Step By Step Photos
Combine the warm water, yeast and honey in a bowl. Stir to dissolve and then wait for it to become frothy.
Stir in the olive oil and salt.
Stir in all of the whole wheat flour. I used stone ground, it has a wonderful texture and flavor.
Begin to stir in the all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time until you can not stir it anymore.
At that point, dump it out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough and keep adding all purpose flour until you have a soft, elastic but not sticky ball of dough (about 3 minutes of kneading and between 2 and 3 cups all purpose flour total).
Shape the dough into a ball, loosely cover and let rise until double. You can either let it rise in an oiled bowl or even right on the counter top.
After it has doubled in size, punch it down then shape it into a log that will fit in your bread pan. Coat the pan in non-stick spray or oil. Place the dough inside and let it rise until double again.
Here it is all risen and beautiful. You want it to have risen up higher than the edges of the bread pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Make a long slit in the bread to allow for expansion while it cooks. You can do any design but I like the length-wise slit because it gives uniformly shaped bread slices.
Bake it for 30 minutes or until it is a deep golden brown on top.
Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing. Slicing hot bread can cause it to smoosh down into a dense mess.