Guest Post by my husband Nathan.
Kimmy and I have been trying to be more conscientious about what we eat with a focus on foods that are whole and generally more natural. We also really enjoy making things from scratch and trying to source things as locally as possible. Like most families, one of our staples is bread. For the last several years, we have had a decent generic lighter wheat bread that we would always throw in the cart. Although it was a relatively healthy choice and was certainly easy, it still had some preservatives and stabilizers. With that in mind, and the desire to get to learn more about locally available ingredients, we thought it would be fun to start baking our own sandwich bread each week.
So far baking each week has been a great experience. One of the challenges I always run into with bread is when to start in order to give the dough the proper time to rest while not interrupting my schedule too much. My first attempt at the recipe below was late Sunday afternoon a few weeks back and resulted in a late night. I had miss read the recipe and didn’t account for one of the rises. The bread turned out great though and when we repeated the effort the following week, I had my timing worked out. Starting the bread after getting home from work fit in perfectly with sitting down to eat a wonderful dinner Kimmy had made, putting Little to bed, and enjoying some down time that evening.
The following recipe was given to me last month by the folks from Camas Country Mill when Kimmy and I stopped by their booth at the Saturday Market in Eugene. The original recipe was by Christina Jessie. I have adjusted some of the timing and added a few tips to reflect my experience baking these loaves. Enjoy and be sure to comment below letting us know what you think of the bread and how it turns out if you make it with other types of flour.
Red Fife Wheat Bread Recipe
3 cups warm water (110 deg F)
3/4 Cup Honey at room temp
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1/3 Cup melted butter
8 Cups Red Fife Wheat Flour
In large mixing bowl combine water, honey, and yeast. After about about 5 minutes, once the yeast has softened, incorporate the butter and 4 cups of the flour, one cup at a time using your bread hook mixer attachment on low speed. Continue mixing for 7 minutes on low speed. Add salt and 2 – 3 more cups of the red fife flour one cup at a time till a stiff dough forms.
Sprinkle 1 cup of the remaining flour on a clean surface knead for 8 to 10 minutes till dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a greased metal bowl, turning the dough over to grease top. Cover the bowl loosely with a damp towel or with Saran Wrap and place it in a warm (75 to 85 degree F) draft free place until it has doubled in size (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour)
Punch down dough, knead for 1 minute, cover and let rise again until double (approximately 45 minutes)
Punch down a second time and then divide the dough in half. Shaping it into 2 loaves and place each loaf in a greased loaf plan. Place loaves in a warm place and allow loaves to rise to the top of the pans. The top of the dough will crest about an inch above the edges of the pan. (approximately 45 minutes)
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until they are a deep golden brown. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped.
Butter the tops with 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter and let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes in their pans before turning them out on a rack to cool completely.