The second recipe I chose to make, I’ve made before, so I decided to play with it some and changed it a bit. I used the Rustic Wheat Bread With Savory Herbs and Onions recipe, a wonderful homemade wheat bread recipe.
Easy Bread Recipes From GRIT Bloggers
Lori Dunn's homemade wheat bread recipe was originally submitted as part of her blog post, "When the Weather Outside Is Frightful, Homemade Bread Is So Delightful," in her GRIT Blog, News From the Nest in Rural Pennsylvania.
1⁄2 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups unbleached flour
4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 generous tablespoons fresh minced sage
2 generous tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄4 cup cornmeal, divided
In small bowl, combine lukewarm water, yeast and honey. Let mixture stand until yeast becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
In large bowl, combine unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour and salt; make a well in center of mixture. Add yeast mixture to well and stir just to combine a little of the flour. Add 1 cup warm water, and continue mixing. Add oil and remaining warm water, and continue mixing. Once most of the flour is mixed in and it becomes difficult to stir, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
Gather dough together and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional flour if sticky, as needed. The dough should be a bit heavy. Place kneaded dough in large, lightly oiled bowl to rise, covered with damp towel. If you are letting the dough rise overnight, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Check to see if it needs punching down. If it has doubled in bulk, punch it down with your fist, give it a few kneads, turn it over, and either cover it to rise again, or prepare to shape loaves.
Heat oven to 400°F when ready to shape loaves.
In small bowl, mix together herbs and chopped onion.
Divide dough in half and knead each portion, one at a time, gently flattening dough. Spread one-quarter herb mixture on flattened dough and fold it in half to cover, then knead. Flatten dough again and spread another quarter herb mixture on dough, fold over and knead. Continue kneading and working herbs and onions into dough, gathering any pieces that fall out. Once dough is homogenous, shape it into a loaf. Repeat process with remaining dough and herb mixture.
Lightly sprinkle baking sheet with half the cornmeal. Place loaves, not touching, on sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining cornmeal. With knife, make two or three diagonal slashes, 1⁄2 inch deep, across tops of loaves. Cover with towel and allow them to rise in warm place until almost doubled in bulk.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to baking rack to cool. Yields 2 loaves.
I followed the recipe with everything it calls for, except I didn’t add the herbs and onions, and I didn’t use the cornmeal to coat it with. Instead, I replaced the herbs with cinnamon and ginger. I also had to add a little extra water when mixing the dough because it was very dry for some reason, but the end result was wonderful.
I baked it as directed, and when I removed the loaves from the oven, I buttered and sugared the crusts. I can’t tell you how good this smelled while baking! Absolutely heavenly! I got three nice-sized loaves from this recipe, enough to share with family! I also made French toast with this bread and topped it with real maple syrup and walnuts! Delicious! Don’t be afraid to change up your recipes. Try some different spices and seasonings! Who knows, you might just come up with a winner that is requested over and over again!
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