Real estate agents tell home sellers to bake bread or cookies right before an open house or showing, because the smell has a psychological effect on people giving them a sense of well-being and place. It’s called Scent Marketing and it works. The smell of freshly baked bread is indeed hard to ignore!
I’ve baked a loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread to go with the sprouts that are now ready to eat. And let me tell you, it has been a joyous experience! I haven’t baked a real loaf of bread since the end of May 2010, right before we moved to Alaska and long before I started a gluten free diet. Well, today is going to mark the adding of gluten back into my diet. I’m experimenting to see if I will feel different, or sick. Either way, I really enjoyed getting my hands into some dough! This is such a great recipe, it always seems to turn out great with my freshly milled flour.
DoingDomestic Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
1+ 1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
3 cups whole wheat flour*
All the liquid parts go into the bowl of a mixer, add the dry and then, using a hook attachment, mix the dough for about 5 minutes. Remove the hook and shape the dough into a ball and place it in a slightly greased bowl. Allow the dough to rise for an hour or two in a draft free spot covered with a towel. (I can tell when the dough is ready for the next step when it starts to look flat on top). Give the dough a few turns in the bowl (sort of an up-and-over stretching and folding of the dough over itself, without punching it or knocking all the air out of the dough). Roll it tightly into a loaf shape and place it into a slightly greased loaf pan. The dough is allowed to rise again for another hour or so, covered with a towel. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the bread for about an hour (make sure the oven is fully preheated!). I always know the bread is ready when the house smells strongly of fresh bread and when the loaf sounds hollow when I thunk it with my finger. The loaf should come out of the pan easily when it is done, you don’t want the loaf to cool in the pan because the steam will make the lower crust soggy. Allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing it (which takes a whole lotta will-power, let me tell you!) but worth the patience in the end for a quality result.
If you wrap the bread in plastic to store it, the loaf will get soggy. We keep it from drying out by placing the end face down on a plate and make sure that we eat the bread within a day or so.
*For this loaf I used a blend of freshly milled hard white winter wheat flour and unbleached white flour – about 3 parts whole wheat to 1 part white.