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Honey Wheat Bread ...that was almost a disaster.

35 comments /
 Disclaimer: the following "paragraph" is a mix of writings and ramblings that I was having/doing while making this bread.  I usually go through and form it all into something cohesive when I'm ready to share it.  But I think that it pretty much summed up the roller coaster ride that this bread took me on...so I left it.  I hope you can decipher my mess.

This was doomed to fail before I even began. And basically, I knew it. Do you ever do that? I knew many things about this recipe were a bad idea...but I went for it anyway. First off, it was made in a food processor. I mean, it gave a "by hand" option, but I thought..."why not...what could go wrong?" Ha! I did make a bread in the past that worked in the food processor...but they were pitas and it wasn't as much dough. My food processor is an 8-cup capacity...nothing fancy, just Hamilton Beach. I should have listened to that nagging little feeling in my gut and done this by hand or in a mixer...because while my processor wasn't anything fancy...now I have NO FOOD PROCESSOR AT ALL! This dough killed it. It sputtered and let out one last tired puff of smoke (that I told myself was flour when it was happening)...and then there was nothing. And the dough was still a bit, wet, sticky mess. So I turned it out onto the counter and eventually kneaded it into submission by adding a bit more flour at a time and scraped with my bench press. However, once this was all over, I realized that in the midst of everything, I never added the salt. Well shit. Too late now. Right? I don't know...doesn't seem like it'd mix correctly if I tried adding it after it had already had its first rise. So, I continued...just to see what would happen. After the first rise, it actually felt pretty silky and divided well...had bubbles to push out, so that's a good thing. Divided and put into two pans and brushed tops with butter. Rose well in the pans...yay!! Oi. The battery on my camera is dead. I didn't try to use it until after the loaves rose (very nicely) in the pans...thought I'd show it off. So, currently charging and I'll only have photos of the final loaves. What a day. Oh yeah, I also forgot to put a pan of water in the oven...so no steam. Okay, I've concluded that this is why I don't start things at dinnertime when there's a million other things going on --> Sunday night stuff...like showers, last-minute backpack checks, laundry, rain (um, can we say photo-hamper-er?).

So, in the end...two good loaves of bread and one dead food processor. All in all one crazy...but fairly successful...venture. Although, next time I go to use my food processor I'm gonna be pissed.  Can anyone recommend a good (fairly inexpensive) model?  

The bread itself is incredibly soft and tender and lightly sweet from the honey.
Honey Wheat Bread
adapted from Allrecipes
yield: 2 loaves

1 (.25 oz.) package rapid rise yeast
1 tsp.sugar
½ c. warm water (110° F/45° C)
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1 (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk
¼ c. water
¼ c. butter, melted
¼ c. honey
2 tsp. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. bread flour + more as needed
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2 Tbs. butter, melted

Dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ c. warm water.

Combine milk, ¼ cup water, shortening, honey, salt and wheat flour in food processor* bowl. Pour in yeast mixture to combine, then let rest 15 minutes. Add bread flour, and process mix/stir until dough forms a ball. Knead dough by processing an additional minute and a half.   Turn out and knead, adding flour as necessary until the dough is no longer sticky and feels pliable and smooth.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled in size, ~45 minutes.

Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, pushing out the bubbles with your fingertips. Form into loaves, and place into buttered bread pans. Lightly brush a bit of the melted butter across the top of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled, ~30-45 minutes. During last 15 minutes of preheating time, place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are dark golden brown. Remove from oven and brush remaining butter immediately over the top crust. Tip out when you are able to and finish cooling on wire rack. Slice once cooled.
*I cannot reiterate enough how much I recommend doing this by hand or in the mixer and NOT the food processor.  Unless, of course, you have an industrial or heavy-duty processor.  Then by all means...process away.
*In answer to what type of knife I use for slicing my bread, I use a knife I've had for years (I started using it when I was working in restaurants and food service)...a Dexter-Russell Offset Scalloped Sandwich Knife.
Sani-Safe Commercial Cutlery, Sandwich Knife, Offset 9"

*This is the Artisan Bread Bakers Bread of the Month for May.
*Yeastspotting!
BYOB-badge wanderfood-badge what's cookin wednesday whats on the menu wednesday

35 comments

  1. Death by dough, sorry about your food processor1 But the bread looks so good. I'm wishing I had a warm slice, with melting butter!

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  2. Regardless of all the drama, it looks delish!

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  3. Sorry to hear about your food processor. I don't have a food processor either, but let my bread maker do all the kneading.

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  4. I can relate to this in so many ways. Don't know when I'll finally learn that it's best to save some things for another day. But not a rainy one when you're trying to take blog pictures. :)

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  5. Nice bread, but such a shame about the food processor. You should track down which blog the 'fairy hobmother' has visited recently and leave a comment. He may grant you a new one. Oh and he likes tweets too (@ian_goodall).

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  6. Bummer. It sounds like it was "just one of those days" Heather. Despite everything those loaves look absolutely beautiful. Sorry to read about your processor.

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  7. after a lot of struggle, some yummy bread that is! this has inspired me to bake my own bread next time !

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  8. Jaq...this is the first time I've ever heard of the Fairy Hobmother! I searched around a bit and found a visit posted yesterday...but it looks like the fairy dust is only sprinkled throughout the UK?? Please come visit me Fairy Hobmother... (Plus, I'm stuck in that persons spam box...rickin'frickin' WP keeps stranding me when I leave comments!!). Thanks for lighting a spark of hope, though =)

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  9. I really hope he does visit you :)

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  10. I cannot believe it was almost a disaster, looks absolutely perfect !!!

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  11. On the positive side - it's time for a new processor, get a big heavy duty, everything-you-could-want one!

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  12. the breads look gorgeous! Although were they worth the lost food processor...that is the question.

    I have a smaller cuisinart model that was maybe 30 bucks and I really love it!

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  13. These things happen with me too :) The bread has come out very well. I wanted to ask , how you cut your bread so well ? Do you use a knife or some other instrument ? Its all crumbly when I cut bread with my knife. :(

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  14. Thanks Jo...I'll look that up. Pam...some day ;)
    V Kitchen...I just use my bread knife (it's serrated). I have a couple, but my favorite one is an off-set one; the blade sits lower than the handle. Mine is one I've had for years that I used to use in the restaurant...I guess it's actually called a "Scalloped offset sandwich knife". It's a Dexter Russell...here's the link to it: http://www.dexter1818.com/Item_details_1.asp?id=717&group_name=SS.asp. =)

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  15. I also put a link to it on Amazon in the post itself =)

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Honey wheat bread looks prefect,love that beautiful crust..

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  18. :) Looks good to me, even with boo boo's...butter will hide those he he

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  19. bummer about the processor! regardless this bread looks beautiful.

    when i was living in chicago, i bought myself a Black + Decker food processor from Target. $55, a much better bargain than that Magimix i lusted over :) anyway, it did the trick and worked really well!

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  20. I love this bread look amazing! gloria

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  21. Oy!! I feel your pain. Don't get black and decker. It'll last 3 yrs max, on light duty. That's the only advice I can give ya. Glad the bread turned out nicely in the end :) A bitter sweet success. Sounds like you need a margarita with an extra shot...on the side

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  22. My condolences...so sorry! Wheat bread is hard on machines, so you need a powerful one, especially if you are doing 100% whole wheat. My first attempt at 100% WW bread on my classic 240 watt Kitchen Aid caught on fire!
    The only time I've seen bread made in a food processor is a really hydrated (wet) bread dough for artisan bread. FP are great for pie dough and pasta dough, though!

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  23. I hate it when that happens. So sorry about your food processor, but at least its last hurrah turned out beautifully! The bread is lovely- who'd have known it was deadly? My food processor is one that I picked up for two bucks at a thrift store. I see them quite often there in good shape.

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  24. sorry to hear about the death of your food processor. Bread turned out be perfect irrespective what happened to the food processor.

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  25. I have bogged down my food processor with the most unlikely recipes, so I probably wouldn't have been so brave to try this mixing method. The bread looks excellent, I love the nice crust (my favorite part of any bread).

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  26. adore your bread making adventures and the end result is always so worth it

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  27. I'm so sorry for your loss, good thing is now you can get a brand new food processor :) I have a bosh one, and I have used it for bread but we are only 2 here so I dont know how it would work with lots of flour. (I loved that you saw smoke coming out and told yourself it was flour, that really is something I would do). Do you think we could follow your recipe using the mixer instead?

    hugshugs

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  28. Yes, Ana...definitely try it in your mixer or by hand =)

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  29. Hahaha. This is my experience (highlighting the disaster parts) pretty much every time I try to make yeast products. It is like my final frontier of cooking. Ack!

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  30. At least got to work out some of your frustration my kneading the dough. The bread looks great! Hope your next attempt goes much, MUCH smoother!

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  31. Good thing it wasn't a disaster, because it looks amazing!

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  32. Thanks for the info. I am planning to bake this one. I have one more question.
    The recipe calls for bread flour. I have just whole wheat flour and APF at home.
    Can I just use whole wheat flour instead of bread flour and make modifications to the honey/yeast proportions ?

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  33. V Kitchen...I don't see why you couldn't sub ww or apf flour...do you have any Vital Wheat Gluten? If you sub in a bit of this for a bit of the flour, it will help the bread keeps its tender spring. If not, I think you would still get good results =)

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  34. Well your loaves sure do look lovely. Thankfully, I don't even have a food processor, so no danger there! Thanks for sharing with me tonight. I've missed visiting you and your blog. I'm glad that I'm back :-) I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Hugs from Austin!

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  35. Bummer! Well an excuse for a new one anyway. ;-)

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