Mmmm...whole wheat bread. Some people prefer white, but I absolutely love whole wheat. The nutty, grainy, wholesome texture is something I have always enjoyed. As delicious as white bread is, it's just too...boring. I'm gonna tell you the truth: this was the first yeast loaf I had ever made, and it turned out FANTASTIC! To make it, I altered a recipe on the back of my whole wheat flour bag. It's very nutritious too - no high fructose corn syrup like most store bought breads - so you don't need to feel guilty about eating it. The only fat in it is a small amount of olive oil, which is extremely good for you. This bread is more dense than fluffy, but that's how it's supposed to be. When I spread some apple butter, pumpkin butter, or nutella on these slices I was just about the happiest girl in the world. I'm sure you'll be quite happy eating it as well(:
Yield: 1 loaf (about 12 slices)
· 3 ½ cups Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
· 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
· 1 envelope Fleishmann’s RapidRise (Instant) Yeast
· 1 1/3 cups water
· ¼ cup olive oil
· ¼ cup honey
· ¼ cup nonfat dried milk
Mixing: In a large bowl, combine flour, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, milk, honey, and oil until very warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Gradually add to flour mixture; 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. 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 ½ x 4 ½ 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 degree 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 be hollow). 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.