Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread – Recipe

This past holiday season, I rediscovered my passion for baking bread and NOT spending money on chemical-laden, mass-produced, over-priced bread at the grocery store. So, in a nutshell, I rediscovered my intense carb-addition and my frugal grooviness at the same time, and I found them both at Wal-Mart. That place really does have everything. Um, or maybe not.

Anyway, I have not taken step-by-step pictures of this recipe, but it’s pretty straight forward and forgiving (I mean, it forgives me constantly), so we should be good to go with just the recipe, straight up. I’ll do my best to answer any questions that come up though, just leave your question in the comments. ???? I will tell you that I do all of my mixing and most of my kneading using my KitchenAid stand mixer and dough hook. I’m just a wimp that way. Also, I do not have a record of where I first found this recipe, but I’ve changed it a bit here and there over time to make it work better for me.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread (makes 2 scrumptious loaves)

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups of warm water (110 – 115F)
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled (can substitute coconut or other oil for the butter)
4 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp yeast (or two of those little packages of yeast, which makes 1Tbsp + 1/2tsp)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste, but do leave some salt in the recipe, the yeast needs it)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (give or take).

Directions:

  1. Combine one cup of the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Add warm water, honey and butter/oil. Mix on low-speed until combined. The on medium speed for about three minutes.
  3. Add the remaining two cups of whole wheat flour and the all-purpose flour (a cup at a time) and mix, using your dough hook attachment, until the dough is no longer sticky – when it comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, you’re good. Knead in the mixer until smooth and elastic – about five minutes or so.
  4. Take out the dough hook and cover the dough, in the bowl with a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes (an hour if your house, like mine, is chilly).
  5. Punch the dough down, divide it in half and roll each half out into a rectangular shape. Roll each half of the dough up and place in a well-greased 9×5 inch bread pan. Rolling the dough will give your bread a nicer crumb, better structure and make your loaves look purty.
  6. Cover the loaves with a damp tea towel (again) and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (or 45 minutes in a chilly place), or until doubled.
  7. Bake in your preheated (because you read ahead – aha!) oven (350F) for 30 minutes. Since tapping the bottom of loaves baking in a bread pan is cumbersome and dare I say it, impossible, you could use an instant read thermometer into the long side of the loaves. Fully baked bread should be 205F. Turn out of the pans and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve!
Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

P.S. My spellcheck is acting up again. I’m not entirely sure why, but it wants you to use a ‘doe hook’ to mix your bread. But I said, “No way, screw you, Spellcheck. We are NOT using a ‘doe hook’ on this blog. Not today!” So now I’m not sure if my spellcheck is a carb hater or an animal hater, but either way, it looks like I will need to remain vigilant about monitoring any and all changes and dropping the hammer liberally on the pro-offered suggestions. Never trust your spellcheck. I’m fairly certain it’s just out to get you and will mess up everything you type. Probably on purpose.

~A.

School-safe Protein-packed Granola Bar Recipe

A while back, I published a post about becoming an Epicure Selections consultant. Since then, I have been busy trying as many Epicure products as possible (and no, I don’t love everything they put out there, but I do love many of their products 🙂 ). Including their silicone bakeware, and I have to admit, I am now completely sold on the Perfect Petites Silicone pan (only $23 Cdn. Lol!).

So far, I’ve made both regular and Summer Berry versions of banana bread and these School-safe Granola Bars (a few times each) and it’s been a breeze each time. Clean up hasn’t been tedious and the end product has been a hit with my smalls.

A few tips when using the Perfect Petites pan:

1. Always use it on top of a metal baking/cookie sheet for stability
2. NEVER use cooking spray on this or any other silicone cookware
3. Lightly oil the pan with Canola or other oil, but, see point number 2 and remember NO cooking spray
4. If something is a little difficult to remove (I haven’t run into this issue yet), pop the pan in the freezer for about 20 or so minutes. Whatever you’ve baked should pop right out after that.
5. You can pretty much take any quick bread, muffin, cake, cookie recipe and use the Petites pan, just reduce your baking time – if a recipe calls for 30 minutes at 325°C, I start checking after 15 minutes.

General Notes about the recipe – I wanted a quick snack that would provide my children with a hit of protein, not merely fibre/carbs/sugar but that was also school-safe (e.g. completely nut-free) and this fits the bill perfectly. As a bonus, it is also an incredibly adaptable recipe. Use gluten-free flour and voila! GF School safe granola bars. Kids don’t like raisins? Don’t use them! They love Craisins? Use ’em! Dried anything (naturally or chopped up small) will work 🙂 Be adventurous, see what ya’ll like and what you don’t. I’m trying them out using coconut oil next, I’m sure it will work just fine though. 😉

Now, for the promised recipe

SCHOOL-SAFE AND PROTEIN-PACKED GRANOLA BARS

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rolled oats (quick are fine, but not instant)             1/2 cup honey
1 cup whole wheat flour                                                      1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)                                            1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar                                                            2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt (optional
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mixture of shredded unsweetened coconut, raw & shelled sunflower seeds, raw & shelled pumpkin seeds (I keep this mixture in equal parts in a Mason jar in my pantry for snacking and baking).

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325° C. Lightly oil your Perfect Petites pan or your 9×13″ pan. Alternatively, lay down parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and sides of your pan (9×13 only, not the P.P. pan!)

2. Mix together the first eight ingredients (left-hand column). Make a well in the centre and add four last ingredients (right-hand column). This is easy to mix by hand (so even I don’t bother firing up the KitchenAid mixer 😉 ).

3. If using the Perfect Petites pan, fill and smooth each cell with your granola mix. It will be a wet and sticky batter. For chewier bars, fill each cell more, for crunchier bars, fill each cell with less batter. Maximum capacity for the pan is 2 tablespoons per cell. If using a 9×13 pan, pour the batter in and smooth out.

4. Bake and start checking or doneness after approximately 15 minutes for the Perfect Petites pan or 30 minutes for a 9×13. The bars are done when the edges start to brown lightly.

5. Remove from oven, let cool in the pan on the rack for around 20 minutes. Less time is needed if you’re using the P.P. pan, those you can pop right out of the pan as soon as they are cool enough to touch. If using a 9×13 pan, let them cool, but remove from the pan and cut into bars before completely cold. This will make cutting them easier.

6. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!

I am in love with this pan - makes more that my regular mini-muffin tin (30 vs. 24) and they are the perfect size for all of us to enjoy a REASONABLE portion of a treat - LOL!

I am in love with this pan – makes more that my regular mini-muffin tin (30 vs. 24) and they are the perfect size for all of us to enjoy a REASONABLE portion of a treat – LOL!