Sweet Wheat Bread is a good winter time comfort food. Like bears, we want to hibernate too with our tummies full on cold snowy winter days. At our house, we like fresh homemade bread. So the past 2 weeks I have been baking breads: panettone, French bread, peasant bread, whole wheat bread and now looking for the next new recipe. Hot bread and butter is such a good snack with tea or coffee for a mid-morning or mid afternoon break.
I have a family hand-me down 8-inch cast iron skillet I like to use for the sweet whole wheat bread and for corn bread. When I make corn bread I put 1/4 cup of olive oil in the skillet, then heat for a 2-3 minutes before pouring it into the batter. The hot skillet and oil makes a crisper bottom on the corn bread, a good accent to soups.
Classic French Bread recipe was taken from Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 1999, p 35. It was good, only problem it was a small loaf. It would not last long with a family that likes hot buttered bread.
Julia Child’s recipe for French Bread took longer however, made two loaves. I used my electric mixer with the dough hook to get the dough formed, then hand kneaded. I used the recipe from Julia Child, The Way To Cook, p.38. Here are some photos to show few of the steps to make French Bread. It does rise 2 times to double in volume before being formed into a loaf.
The Peasant Bread did not get its picture taken before cut and eaten. The recipe was adapted from Bernard Clayton, Jr., The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, 1984, p 402. I took some liberties to change it by using half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat flour and added 2 tablespoons wheat germ. I proofed the yeast in water hotter than the 70 degrees and let is rise in a warmer than room temperature. The bread was a large loaf with a dense texture. It toasted well and was good for toasted cheese sandwiches.
Sweet Wheat Bread, Netta Belle's Choice
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- Use bread machine on the dough cycle or mix and let rise the first time.
- Put all the ingredients in bread pan in the order given, except the egg white,water and turbinado sugar.
- Set the bread machine to go through the dough cycle. This is the primary knead cycle and a rise cycle.
- Prepare the pan for baking: oil 8-inch cast iron skillet or 5 x 9 x 3-inch loaf pan.
- Remove the bread from the bread machine pan after the first rise.
- Put on a lightly floured bread board to form into desired shape or pan.
- Cover the bread dough with a towel, set in a warm and draft free location.
- Let dough rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- After the second rise, slash top of bread with sharp knife.
- Brush the dough with the beaten egg white and water.
- Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake 35 minutes or until brown; if it browns too fast, cover with foil.
- Cool on rack before cutting.
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