February 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Micro-Brew Bread Recipe

by Amber on February 28, 2011

I seem to be drawn to things made of yeast: bread, beer, pastries. As my fair city celebrates Sacramento Beer Week with a host of yeasty festivities, I thought I’d throw in my support with a tasty combo using micro-brew ale in a honey-sweetened whole wheat bread recipe.
Honey Whole Wheat Micro-Brew Bread
Growing up, my parents stretched the food bill by serving bread with every meal. We would slather each slice in butter and some of Dad’s homemade jams (grape most often, cherry if Dad felt like sharing, and raspberry—all made from fruit we grew in our yard).
Our bread of choice: Hillbilly Bread. I kid you not. It’s a real brand—and apparently, they still sell it in Ohio. It’s whole wheat bread, and I’m sure Mom picked it because it had more nutrients than some of the other breads at the store. (She never bought any of the bright white kind.) And it was cheap.
Image found at: danielebrady.blogspot.com
I no longer eat Hillbilly Bread (haven’t seen it in the stores since I was a kid), but I do still love bread of any kind. I stumbled upon the following recipe, which I adapted slightly, from my King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. As soon as I saw the word “micro-brew,” I was ready to start baking!
This loaf is soft and slightly sweet. I cut it into thick slices, toast them for a warm breakfast, and spoon on honey from my farmers’ market.
This bread is wonderful when served warm. Even when toasted for breakfast, it stays soft.
Honey Whole Wheat Micro-Brew Bread Recipe
¼ cup orange juice
3 Tablespoons mountain wildflower honey (or other dark honey)
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon walnut oil
Farmers’ Market ingredients: honey, whole wheat flour, butter
Garden Grown ingredients: oranges for o.j.
California-made or Locally-made ingredients: amber ale
Supermarket ingredients: yeast, oats, all-purpose flour, salt
Pour the beer, o.j., and honey into the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the instant yeast and let sit for a few minutes while you measure the flour.
Add the whole wheat flour to the yeast and liquid and stir to combine.
Add the oats, all-purpose flour, and salt to the bowl. Before mixing, use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into the bowl. Mix all the ingredients together to form smooth bread dough. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. If the dough is a little sticky, that’s okay. Adding extra flour will dry it out.
Lightly coat the dough with a tablespoon of walnut oil and cover. Set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until nearly doubled in size.
Grease a 9 X 4 inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough. Shape to fit and place it in the loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until the dough rises above the rim of the pan—about 1.5-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Uncover and bake the bread for 35 minutes. For a softer crust, tent the pan with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool for another 25 minutes before slicing.
Yield: One loaf
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