I love making bread so much, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of trying new bread recipes. Of course I have several old standbys that I make over and over again, like my regular wheat bread or white sandwich bread. But I love trying new recipes because, after all, that is how I found my standbys in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my normal wheat bread, but this bread is great because it’s sort of like a hybrid between wheat and white. It is wheat, but it doesn’t really taste quite so – well, healthy. This is great as toast, for a sandwich with deli meat or my personal favorite, a grilled cheese. Give it a try! I bet you’ll love it too.
Light Wheat Bread
2 1/2 cups (11.25 oz.) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz.) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp. (0.75 oz.) granulated sugar or honey
1 1/2 tsp. (0.38 oz.) salt
3 tbsp. (1 oz.) nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tsp. (0.17 oz.) instant yeast
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) water, at room temperature
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, nonfat dry milk, and yeast. Add the butter, honey (if using), and water. Mix on low speed just until a dough forms. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed. Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Knead for about 7-8 minutes (10 minutes by hand). Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough ball to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8-10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. It will spread wider as you roll it. Pinch the final seam closed. Place the loaf in a lightly oiled loaf pan and press down so that the dough touches the pan on all sides. Mist the top with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack in the middle position. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and sides, and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour, preferably 2, before slicing and serving.
Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart