Whole grain breads are a staple of my diet…so this week’s Baking with Julia assignment thrilled me. Flavored with honey and barley malt extract, this bread recipe is simple enough for the beginner. I used my heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer for the kneading…so it’s mostly a waiting game with the proofing times. Molasses can be used as a substitute for the rather elusive malt extract, but I had some leftover from making bagels.
My favorite part of this recipe was advice on how to shape the loaves for the final rising. After rolling half the dough into a 9 x 12 rectangle, with the short side facing you, fold down the top 2/3 of the dough. Then fold up the bottom 1/3. Fold again so the top meets the bottom with the seam on top. Pinch the seam to seal, and fold up the end pieces so the loaf will fit in the pan. Turn over and gently pat to shape and place into your bread pan. Unfortunately, mine seemed to develop a rather large tunnel…but it didn’t certainly didn’t hamper the taste. I ate more slices than I’d care to admit…all smeared with butter. Next time, I’ll add some extra honey…to make a true honey wheat bread.
Tip of the Day…Addendum: My friend, Eva, posted a helpful hint in my comments to help avoid the dreaded tunnel. Here’s her sage advice: “The dough has to be stickier than normal so that the folds stick together. If it’s not sticky enough, I will wet the flat rectangle a bit with only the water that sticks to my hand and pat it, allow it to sit a minute or so and fold.” Thank you, Eva!!!