April 13, 2014

Honey Wheat Bread

How to make Honey Wheat Bread at home


      Since the time, I heard about the yoga mat chemical in fast food breads (McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and KFC & many more); I remained, ever so slightly bothered about why the FDA permits Azodicarbonamide, while it is banned as a food additive and in food packaging in most European countries and Australia. And its use in Singapore has some pretty severe penalties. The reason being - two suspicious chemicals are formed when bread with Azodicarbonamide is baked, which is linked to respiratory problems & potentially carcinogenic.

      While we do like to have an occasional meal at fast food chains (in spite of it being high in empty calories)  & have nothing against them; the fact that we might be compromising our health, affects the decision to go back there. While reading about the additive, I learnt that this particular chemical is also used in numerous other popular brands of packaged breads. Next thing to do, was to check my regular (multigrain bread) brands for the additive & there it was listed among a ton of ingredients - decided not to buy that anymore. A week later I found that it was also on my white bread - another brand had to be kicked off my list. While your visit to the fast food chains can be controlled, the packaged breads will be consumed on a daily basis, through out the year (at least, in my home)!! At this rate, chances of any reactions from the additive are enormously higher from packaged breads than from fast foods, I would say.

        The necessary ingredients in bread are pretty basic. You need flour, water, yeast, and salt for sure. And then maybe add a little fat for dough consistency and a little sugar to get the yeast going. A little flavoring, if you like. You take a look at the commercial breads or any packaged food for that matter and the ingredient lists are freaking scary!

         Now, will I stop buying breads altogether & make my own bread, hereafter? Very unlikely! Will I read the ingredient list, before i buy any packaged bread - of course, Duh...! Although more than 500 grocery store food items have this foaming agent, you can easily get commercial breads without the additive. Even if you are not the kind of person, who fusses over what you eat, remember to check the ingredient list of all packaged foods. It's always better to go with products that have a short list with mostly natural ingredients. It's best to err on the side of caution, when it comes to health; but hey, that's just me! Eat, Thrive & Stay Healthy!!


Home made - Honey Wheat Bread


Prep: 35 mins Rise: 1 hr 50 mins Bake: 45 mins
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients


3 Cups whole wheat flour
1/3 Cup honey
1/4 Cup shortening
3 Tsp Salt
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast (4.5 Tsp)
2 1/4 Cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
2.5 to 3 Cups all-purpose flour or Bread flour
Butter or margarine, melted

Special Equipment's required:
An electric mixer

Home made - Honey Wheat Bread

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

Directions:


1. Mix whole wheat flour, honey, shortening, salt and yeast in large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.


2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease a large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until double in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.


3. Grease bottoms and sides of two loaf pans (9x5 or 8x4 inches).
4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate and divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into rectangle, 18x9 inches, on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side, to form a loaf. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with side of hand to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.


5. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 375°F.
6. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter; cool.

Home made - Honey Wheat Bread
Sauteed Veggies with Honey Wheat Bread for breakfast

Notes: 

  • If you do not have a standing mixer, use the hand held mixer initially & follow on kneading with your hands once the dough gets thicker.
  • You can substitute the honey with sugar & the butter with other fats for a Vegan version.

Found this easy recipe on one of Betty Crocker's cookbook. You can reduce the recipe by half, if needed. Sharing this recipe with Sri Valli's CCChallenge #7 week 2.
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