Nothing brings friends and family together like sharing a warm loaf of bread fresh from the oven, and when that bread comes from your own oven and your own hands, the experience is even better.
With this recipe for a quick way to make yeast bread, you will baking bread very doable, something to enjoy and not intimidating.
The secret is to mix the dough one evening and refrigerate it until the next evening. That is when you will shape the dough, let it rise and bake it. There’s no punching down or kneading with this recipe; all you really need is a large wooden spoon for mixing the dough.
I can, and do, bring bread home from the bakery quite often, but making bread myself is a source of pleasure, particularly in the winter months when I seem to crave the comforting aroma of fresh baked bread, and eating it warm from the oven.
After baking, for a winter morning warm-up: Toast two slices of raisin-walnut whole wheat bread, top with butter; serve with hot coffee or tea.
This bread also makes for a very tasty sandwich at lunch; one I like is sliced turkey with a honey mustard spread, add crisp lettuce.
Whole Wheat Bread with Raisins and Walnuts
Makes 1 loaf
11/4 cups lukewarm water (85 to 95 degrees)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (for do-ahead version) or quick rising dry yeast (for same-day version).
1 cup warm whole milk (105 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup (one-half stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
11/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
21/2 cups (about) bread flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1. Stir water and yeast in large bowl to blend. Stir in warm milk, honey and salt, then melted butter. Add whole wheat flour and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until well mixed. Add rye flour, oat bran and cocoa powder and stir until well blended. Add enough bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form moist and sticky dough, stirring vigorously until well mixed. Mix in raisins and walnuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.