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Easy wheat bread

It’s a bread baking day here. There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to fall in hues of red, gold and yellow from our maple trees. Here’s a wheat bread easy enough for beginners. Now this is not 100 percent whole wheat since it has some white flour in it.

Makes 1 loaf – feel free to double the recipe. . Rapid rise yeast is a more aggressive yeast which dissolves and rises quickly and can be added to dry ingredients. If you want to use a mixer, then use medium speed.

Whisk together:

1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 package rapid rise yeast (I use Fleischman’s– this is the fast acting yeast)

1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Heat to about 120-130 degrees (very warm):

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

Have ready:

1-1/4 to 2 cups all purpose flour

Make a well in the center of the whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Pour water mixture in. Stir vigorously with a spoon until nice and smooth. Slowly start adding all purpose flour until a very soft dough forms, stirring as you go. I usually don’t use the entire 2 cups. In fact, depending upon the brand of wheat flour used, you may only need 1-1/4 cups of all purpose, 1-1/2 cups, etc. Know that you’re good to go when a nice, very soft dough forms.

Remove from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

BLESS THE DOUGH! (We always bless everything we get our hands into.)

Let rest 15 minutes, covered.

Roll into a12” long x 7” wide rectangle. Roll up tightly, starting on short end. Pinch seams and bottom together and place, seam side down, in buttered or sprayed loaf pan. (Butter will give a more golden, softer crust). Cover and let rise until doubled, anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes or so.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 30 minutes or so. If you use a thermometer, it will register between 190 – 210.  I like to brush with melted butter when it comes out.

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