Have you ever had one of those days where you have a craving for the smell of baking bread to spread through your house? Even on hot summer days, baking bread can be so rewarding!
I’m here today to give you the recipe to make your own homemade bread! It’s as easy as one-two-three as long as you have the time and dedication to make delicious bread! Just know that it won’t keep very long since it has no store-bought preservatives (not that this yummy bread will last that long anyways; we eat our entire loaf in less than a day!).
There are three simple processes in making bread: Mixing, proofing, and shaping. Once you have these down, you can make any kind of bread you want!
I’m going to show you how to make a recipe for three-seed whole wheat bread I adapted from the cookbook of Sarabeth’s Bakery in New York. I decided to use white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat for a milder flavor, but you can use whichever satisfies your taste buds!
Three-Seed Whole Wheat Bread
adapted from the recipe for Sarabeth’s House Bread in Sarabeth’s Bakery
makes 1 loaf of bread
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup and 2 tablespoons water, divided
1 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons bread flour, with more if necessary
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Softened butter for greasing bowl and pan
1 tablespoon egg product, for glazing (you can use a whole beaten egg but be aware you will have a lot leftover)
Sprinkle active dry yeast over 2 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the contents of the bowl along with the remaining 1 cup of cold water and the honey to a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Whisk to combine.
If you have a stand mixer, use your paddle attachment. Otherwise, like me, use your normal hand mixer. Stir together the white whole wheat flour, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of the bread flour, the cornmeal, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and the salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and seed mixture to the mixer bowl, mixing on low speed. Beat until the dough starts to form.
Gradually, add as much of the remaining 1/4 cup of bread flour as needed to form a rough dough that scrapes from the sides of the bowl. At this point, move your dough onto a floured workspace (I use flour on top of parchment) to start kneading. (If you have a stand mixer, switch from paddle attachment to dough hook on medium-low speed.) Knead until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky but not sticking to the workspace, but not over-floured.
Buter a medium bowl and shape the dough into a ball. Roll the ball around the bowl until coated with butter, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm area until the dough is twice as large, about 1 1/4 hours. This is the first proofing.
Butter an 8 by 4 by 2 1/2-inch aluminum loaf pan (standard size). Gently press the dough to deflate it a little, then pat it into an 8 inch-long rectangle. Roll from the long side into an 8 inch-long loaf, then pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam down into the pan.
Time for the second proofing. Place the pan along with a tall glass of hot (not boiling) water either in a large bag (like a garbage bag) or in your oven on the proofing setting. If using the bag, close it while slightly inflated so the bag doesn’t stick to the top of the dough. Let the dough sit until the top of the loaf reaches the top of the pan or even an inch higher, about 45 minutes.
Remove your loaf pan and glass of water from the bag/oven. Place your oven rack in the center position and preheat to 375° F. Brush the top of the loaf lightly without deflating the bread) with the egg. Bake until the loaves are brown on top and bottoms sound hollow if tapped, about 40 minutes. If you want browned, crusty sides of the bread, carefully slip the loaf out using dishcloths to check the sides. Place foil over the top to prevent it from browning further, then replace the loaf in the pan back in the oven to brown sides more.
Cool the loaf on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan to cool completely on the rack. For the best bread structure, cool for an hour before slicing. For the yummiest warm bread taste, eat immediately. :)