Japan has amazing bakeries with all kinds of wonderful bread and pastries. I have to stay away from them since bread is my biggest weakness. The challenge is finding a good wheat or multi-grain bread. The Japanese like theirs’ white. I decided the best thing to do was to make my own. I discovered a great recipe on allrecipes.com and modified it. I use the basic recipe, cut back on the total flour and add whatever I have on hand; sunflower seeds or other nuts, wheat bran, oats, oat bran…I bake it and once it has cooled I slice it and freeze it. We just pop a couple slices directing into the toaster or thaw it for sandwiches.
- 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup honey
- 5 cups bread flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
- Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
- Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool on wire racks.