Simple Whole Wheat Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups and 2 tablespoons warm water, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses or honey
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Add the yeast to 2 tablespoons water, stir gently and let sit a few minutes until foamy.
Add the flour, milk, and salt to the bowl of your electric stand mixer and whisk to combine.
With the dough hook attachment, run the mixer on low speed while slowly adding in the water, oil, molasses, and yeast mixture.
Once the dough starts to come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, increase speed to medium and let the machine knead the dough for about 8 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for just a minute or two longer, until the dough is smooth and not too sticky.
Put the ball of dough into a large, lightly greased bowl (I use a little canola oil). Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draft-free area. (Like the oven, just make sure it’s off first!) Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape into a loaf, being careful not to overwork it. You shouldn’t need to, ahem, knead it at all. Just push it around a little until it takes the right shape.
Place the dough into a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or damp tea towel and place back in the draft-free area. Allow the dough to rise again for about 1 hour, or until it rises about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes, tenting it loosely with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. If the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped, it’s done.
Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
“Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.” Ralph Waldo Emerson