It all started last year after I bought a 5 kg bag of wholemeal bread flour a year ago, wanting to try my hands at baking wholemeal bread since my family prefers them over white bread, but the flour has been idling in my pantry ever since. I have the bad habit of stockpiling food items and completely forgetting about them (read my story about the mouldy wintermelon candies), 1 year has passed and my baby was born, yet the flour is still left untouched, haha. Since I need to clear this new bag of wholemeal bread flour plus another 3/4 bag of white bread flour, I went online to search for an easy fuss-free wholemeal bread recipe and that was how I chanced upon this recipe on allrecipes.com.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
(Original recipe was meant for 3 loaves, but I am listing the ingredients for making just 1 loaf. The website allows you click on the link "change servings" to change the proportion of ingredients in either US or Metric measurements.)
235 ml (1 cup) warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 g active dry yeast/instant yeast (1 +2/3 tsp)
25 ml honey (3.5 tsp)
230 g bread flour (1 + 2/3 cup)
15 g butter, melted (1 tbsp)
25 ml honey (3.5 tsp)
6 g salt (1 tsp)
140 g wholemeal flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp) + extra 40g (1/4 cup) for flouring and kneading **
9 g butter, melted (2 tsp) - for brushing after baking
** This is just an estimate.
1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and honey. Add 230g white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 15g melted butter, 25ml honey, and 6g salt. Stir in 140g wholemeal flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with wholemeal flour until not really sticky - the dough should just pull away from the counter, but yet still sticky to touch. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel or clingwrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. (I first used a wooden spoon to stir and mix the ingredients until everything came together as a dough, then I used my hands to knead in a big mixing bowl, adding 1/4 cup of wholemeal flour little by little until the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl and became just a little sticky to touch, about 6 - 8 min by hand. Then I placed the dough in a big greased bowl and turned the dough all around to make sure it is well-greased, before proving it in a closed oven with lowest heat turned on for 45min)
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 portions. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. (I flattened and rolled each portion into a swiss roll and placed all 3 swiss rolls into a greased 450g pullman loaf tin, then I covered with clingwrap and proofed it in a closed oven with lowest heat turned on for 45 min or until doubled. Weight of dough was 630g. I realised on hindsight that I probably didn't prove them long enough, nevermind I will do better the next time.)
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tsp melted butter or margarine AFTER the bread is done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely. (I baked at 175C for 30 min on lower shelf so that the height of the pullman loaf tin is just below the middle of the oven, then after removing from the oven, I brushed the crust with melted butter, 1 tsp is more than enough.)
When this wholemeal bread finally came out of the oven, it was already dinner time. After dinner, my son who has been eyeing my homemade wholemeal bread all this while, requested for a slice to go with nutella, and my 2nd daughter being the perpetual copycat, also asked for a slice. I was really surprised that after gobbling 1 slice, he asked for a 2nd helping and then a 3rd helping, when he has just finished 2 servings of spaghetti at the dining table 5 min ago. Being the picky eater, my boy sometimes doesn't like my white breads and sweet breads (the ones he likes are the HK Polo Bun and Rotiboy Bun), in fact he scoffed at my recently baked Orange Marmalade Loaf Bread and refused to eat any further after taking just one single bite. So I was really surprised when the next day, I heard him clamouring for more of my wholemeal bread again, unfortunately there were only 2 slices left from yesterday and they were already sitting in my stomach. Ok, I am definitely gonna keep this recipe and bake it again for him next week, otherwise he will be nagging again. :)