1.22.2013

honey wheat sandwich bread with orange vanilla honey butter


I'm not even joking when I say that I dreamed about this bread. I kind of wish I was joking, because then I would sound less crazy. Does anyone else literally dream about food? Anyway, a few nights ago I had a dream that I was eating the most glorious soft wheat bread, smothered with orange flavored honey butter. And it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted! I woke up and told Geoff about my dream, and asked what he thought it meant. He said, "Um, duh... that you should make wheat bread with honey butter." And so I did!

I've struggled for a long time to find a wheat bread recipe that my family likes, that's easy to make, and that doesn't have any weird ingredients (you know, like wheat germ or xanthan gum). I know my family won't tolerate 100% whole wheat, so I've tried to find a good 50/50 recipe that had some of the goodness of whole wheat bread while still maintaining the softness of white bread. And this recipe is it! It is perfectly soft and smooth, but holds together well enough to make great sandwiches. And it makes three good-sized loaves, which means I can put the extras in the freezer and always have yummy homemade bread on hand.

I read somewhere that honey butter is kind of a Utah thing, and I don't know if that's true. If it is, it shouldn't be. Honey butter is just marvelous, in my opinion! And the addition of orange zest and vanilla... holy amazing. Make it! Now! That's all I can say.
Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread
adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

sponge:
3 cups warm water
2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour (I used all purpose)

bread:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3+ cups whole wheat flour

after it’s baked:
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Mix together warm water, yeast, and honey. stir in the white bread flour until evenly combined. Let sit for 30 minutes, until risen and bubbly. Mix the melted butter, remaining honey, and salt into the sponge. Stir in 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Knead in enough flour until the dough is smooth and tacky but not overly sticky. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl and spray the top of the dough with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour). Once risen, punch down the dough and divide it into 3 equal loaves. Place each into a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and allow to rise until the dough has topped the pans by one inch (about an hour).

Bake at 350ยบ F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Brush the tops of the loaves with 1 tablespoons melted butter to prevent the crust from getting hard. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before storing in plastic bags.

Orange Vanilla Honey Butter

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (I used a clementine because that's all I had)

Add all ingredients to a small bowl, and whisk until combined. Store in refrigerator.
Hungry for more from The Baker Upstairs?

13 comments :

  1. That orange vanilla honey butter sounds so yummy!

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  2. This bread is just what I've been looking for!! It looks amazing and I can't wait to try it. Honey butter is where it's at (even here in the Midwest!) I love this version with orange zest in it!

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  3. I was home with a sick kiddo this week, and have been wanting to make bread! This was perfect timing! I had everything on hand, even the clemintine for the honey butter, and got to it. Delish! The first loaf was devoured with dinner, and the kids have been enjoying toast with honey butter, and the bread with their pbj. Think this will be my go-to bread now. The orange honey butter was a little sweet, next time I will probably cut back the honey a bit, but wow, it is good!

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  4. This looks good. I really enjoy making bread-related products. Found you via Six Sisters' Stuff. I think I'll have to pin this and follow you, as I enjoy food blogs. :)

    ahumblebumble.blogspot.com

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  5. I can't wait to try this! It sounds like a great recipe!!!

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  6. Okay, now I'm dreaming about orange honey butter and fresh bread. This is gorgeous, and I just happen to have tons of oranges!

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  7. I am with Dorothy up there...I will be dreaming of Orange Vanilla Honey Butter! That might make me finally give bread making a go!

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  8. As I endeavor to learn more about baking bread I noticed something when I made this bread (which I love BTW!!!). All white flour bread tends to rise more after it goes into the oven where wheat bread stays as high as you let it proof before backing. Do you find this to be true?

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  9. Beautiful bread and that orange vanilla honey butter sounds AMAZING!

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  10. Made this today, and we love it! I accidentally let the sponge rise for an hour and a half and it was spilling out of my bowl it was so high, so I just kneaded in the butter, salt, honey and wheat flour into the sponge on the table a while and then skipped the second rise- just went straight to the loaf pans until it rose an inch over the pan, which didn't take long at all- it worked out just fine to do it that way, even though it was an accident! Didn't try the orange butter, but made a pretty fantastic turkey avocado sandwich for dinner! Will be my new go-to. Thanks!

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  11. Incredible!!! I made this today and it was soooo good! I didn't have whole wheat flour, so I just used regular bread flour, but the result was awazing! I had to add more flour than what the recipe called for, but it was fine... really soft and fluffy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

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  12. I'm making this right now; about five minutes to go til the end of the sponge stage. I cannot wait for the final result! I've had this recipe pinned for quite a while and kind of forgot about it until I was trying to figure out what to make today. I'm really loving the simplicity of preparation.

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