Ever since I got one of these for my birthday, I've been developing excuses to bake. Chocolate chips in the cabinet leftover from my holiday baking binge? Better turn those into cookies, STAT. Out of bread? I suppose I'll just have to make some rather than risking the trek across the street to the corner market.
I pulled this recipe from the manual that came in the box with the stand mixer, figuring that if I was going to lose my bread-baking-virginity I should probably stick to careful instructions. The result was a loaf of bread that looked, and I quote a friend, "weird...it actually looks like real bread."
What I learned from this endeavor is that anyone can bake bread with the right equipment and a little patience.
Whole Grain Wheat Sandwich Bread
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, divided
2 cups warm water (105F-114F)
2 packages active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
1. Dissolve 1 Tbsp. brown sugar in warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add yeast and let mixture stand.
2. Place 4 cups flour, powdered milk, 1/3 cup brown sugar and salt into mixer bowl. Attach bowl and with dough hook, mix on Speed 2 (low speed) for about 15 seconds, until ingredients are combined. On the same speed, gradually add yeast mixture and oil to flour mixture and mix about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Stop and scrape bowl as necessary.
3. Continuing on same speed, add remaining flour, 1/2 up at the time and mix until dough clings to hook (it will be very sticky and thick). Knead dough on speed 2 until sides of the bowl are clean.
4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
5. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf* and place into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
6. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
*To shape dough into a loaf, roll into a large rectangle, about 9x14 inches. Starting at the short end, roll dough tightly and pinch to seal the seam. Pinch ends down and turn them under, placing the dough seam side down in a loaf pan.