bread12Lately I’ve been wanting to make bread.  I have no idea why, because the process of making bread has always  intimidated me.  Just the thought of  mixing and kneading and rising and punching and rising again..ugh… just way too much work!  I recently recieved a Cuisinart Stand up Mixer as a gift and was eager to use it in every way possible.   I’ve used every other attachment but the dough hook, so I decided to whip up a batch of bread ( that’s the only thing I can think of that would use the dough hook).  I trekked down to the local farmers market to gather all my necessary ingredients.   I picked up  molasses, whole wheat flour, powdered milk and yeast and rushed back home and got started baking immediately.  I came across this King Arthur Whole Wheat Bread and thought I might give it a try since I’ve heard nothing but good things about King Arthur.  This bread was easy to make..I just threw all my ingredients in the Stand up mixer and let it do all the work.  Bread is my enemy no more! 

King Arthur’s Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in  2 tablespoons water
1 1/3 cups  water
1/4 cup vegetable oil1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for “dough” or “manual.”) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour, or until it’s crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking:Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices.