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Baking bread step-by-step

Whole Wheat Bread 
with step-by-step illustrations 
This is a basic whole wheat bread recipe that is very easy. There are several steps, but once mastered, you'll be making this bread blind folded.
It's a great bread for making sandwiches. It's light, not as dense and heavy as other whole wheat breads. For this particular recipe, I used whole wheat pastry flour. 

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (not hot)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (not hot-room temperature)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or Olive oil)
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour), plus extra for kneading
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions: 
Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top.


Let this stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved. 
Stir in the milk, honey, and oil.
Add the 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour to the yeast and water. Stir to combine the ingredients.
Add the rest of the all-purpose and whole wheat flours and salt. Stir to form a shaggy dough. Let this stand for 20 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the liquid.
Start kneading dough. Sprinkle some flour onto table and pour dough out. Pull the dough toward you, fold over and press dough with the heels of your hand.
Repeat by, turning dough, folding over and pressing the dough out with the heels of your hand. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until dough gets smooth and elastic. When the dough gets a little too sticky, simply sprinkle a little more flour on the surface. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.

Let dough rise about 1-2 hours until double in bulk.
When it has doubled in size, punch dough down to deflate the air. 
Remove from bowl, cut in half and shape each half into a log.
Place dough in a lightly oiled pan. Cover bread with either tented foil or use a stiff plastic bag. (I prefer to use the stiff plastic bag. This keeps the dough from touching the plastic and sticking to it when it rises.)
About half way through the second rising, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. When dough has fully risen, bake in oven for for 30-35 minutes. Finished loaves will be dark golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool completely before slicing.
Loaves will keep at room temperature for several days. Loaves can also be wrapped in plastic, and frozen for up to three months.
Bread is considered, "The Staff of Life." Good, wholesome bread contains so many vital nutrients we need. Everyone should know how to bake bread. For generations upon generations, people have been making bread long before bread machines were invented. Breads made in ovens, on top of stoves, baked on rocks, buried in the earth and baked in earthen ware pots and more. 


There are countless recipes for baking breads. Some using yeast and others without it. You'll be surprised at the difference in taste and texture, a simple ingredient can make. For example using molasses will make your bread dark and have a rather earthy sweet taste.  Honey will have light color affect on the bread. Substituting orange juice for milk in some whole wheat recipes, cuts down on the "wheat" taste.