Homemade Honey-Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread--tastes just like Outback Bread!  Click for recipe from Spiced!

Do you have a favorite type of bread?  Whole Wheat.  White.  Rye.  Pumpernickel.  The list goes on.  I can honestly say that I don’t have a favorite.  I love all types of bread.  I’ve heard friends refer to bread as just the “vehicle” for the middle of the sandwich, and I couldn’t disagree more!  Bread can either make or break the sandwich.  You can have the most amazing sliced meat or gourmet cheese and a dense, hard piece of bread will totally ruin it!

This Honey Wheat Bread is amazing.  It actually reminds me of the signature bread served at Outback Restaurant.  I wouldn’t dare venture a guess at the number of loaves of bread served every weekend night at Outback!  Like most breads, this recipe takes a bit of time to make, but it doesn’t require all that much work.  The time comes from the mere fact that the bread needs to rise a couple of times before it can be baked.  So plan to make this bread on a snowy day or on a Sunday afternoon when you’re doing chores.

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour (I prefer King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp yeast (active dry)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3/8 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp caramel color

Instructions

  1. Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of a countertop mixer with the dough hook attached.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  3. Pour half of the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir on low speed until the liquid is fully absorbed (~1 minute).
  4. Pour remaining liquid mixture into the bowl and mix on medium speed for 6-7 minutes.
  5. Move dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and place in a warm (~80-85 degrees) location to rise.
  6. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size (~1.5 to 2 hours).
  7. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and gently fold several times.
  8. Divide into 4 pieces of equal weight (approximately 10 ounces each). Shape into small baguette shaped loaves.
  9. Sprinkle water lightly on the top of each loaf and then sprinkle cornmeal on top. (The water helps the cornmeal stick to the dough.)
  10. Cover the loaves and place in a warm location until they double in size again. (~1.5 to 2 hours)
  11. Bake loaves at 350 for approximately 28-30 minutes.

Notes

In the winter, I turn my oven on the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes, then turn it off and allow the bread to rise in the oven without the power on.

http://spicedblog.com/homemade-honey-wheat-bread.html

One of my favorite ways to eat this bread is actually plain with just a little bit of whipped butter sprinkled with sea salt.  To make whipped butter, just add a splash of milk to a couple tablespoons of room-temperature butter and whisk vigorously.  (Because I use milk when I whip butter, I do store any leftover amount in the refrigerator.)  Finish with a couple grains of sea salt sprinkled on top.

One interesting feature of this bread is its dark color.  This comes from caramel color, an ingredient often used by professional chefs to add color to food.  If you have a food service distributor nearby, you can pick up a large bottle of it.  Or you can actually make your own pretty easily.  I used a homemade version that I came across on The Fresh Loaf, and it worked great.  (Plus, it also made the whole house smell like toasted marshmallows for the rest of the day!)  This recipe also uses a generous amount of cocoa powder, which contributes to the distinct dark color of this bread.  You can certainly leave out the coloring ingredients, and your bread will still taste great…it will just be lighter in color.  Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Shelleys says:

    hi! i was wondering what the purpose was of the caramel coloring? is is a flavor thing or just for the bread color? is it possible to skip or is it necessary? thanks for the recipe! i cant wait to make it!!! :)

    • Hey Shelley! The caramel coloring is just there for the deep brown coloring. You can absolutely skip it and your bread will still taste great. (It just won’t have the same color.) I hope you enjoy…I just toasted a slice with peanut butter on it for lunch!

  2. Hi,
    Just mixed this dough. I double checked and it says mix ALL dry ingredients first. My end dough is gritty from the undisolved yeast. Is this normal?
    Thanks,
    Connie

    • Hey Connie! What kind of yeast did you use? The dough typically isn’t very gritty. It will obviously be gritty once you dust it with cornmeal, but the actual dough itself is usually pretty smooth. I’m trying to think what else may have caused gritty dough–did you use a countertop mixer or mix by hand?

  3. Barbara says:

    Just made this bread. Absolutely fantastic!

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