August, 105°F in the shade and my home made whole wheat bread!

Summer is not the best season to bake, specially if you live in a little 3 rooms appartament (like I do!). But this recipe was waiting for me since last June and I couldn’t wait anymore, so I turned the oven on.
What I love the most about this bread is its consistency: very soft inside and crunchy outside…plus it looks really great (I made other bread experiments in the past: great taste but awful look….but this one, oh my!!).
It is not a real quick recipe, as you have to let the yeast acting for 1 hr plus 40 mins, but bread needs its time to turn out the amazing thing it is. So, be patient but I promise the waiting will be worth it (specially if you cut a slice, spread a layer of mustard and some smoked prosciutto on it!)

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Ingredients

  • 21/2 cups buttermilk (warm)
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 51/2 cups whole wheat flour (fine grind)
  • 11/4 cups bread flour (unbleached)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1 egg white (mixed with a tablespoon of water)
  • 1 water

directions:

  1. Warm the buttermilk to body temperature. In other words when you stick a finger into it you shouldn’t feel it.
  2. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the tablespoon of yeast and the honey to it. Let the yeast dissolve either by whisking it or letting it bloom. Add the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of bread flour, egg and salt.
  3. Using a thick handled wooden spoon mix the dough in a circular fashion adding the softened butter once the dough has started to form. Once the dough has formed remove it from the bowl to a clean counter top and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and the gluten has formed. Consider this your workout for the day. Roll the dough into a tight ball.
  4. Place the dough back into the bowl , cover it with a damp warm towel and set it in a warm place. Set a timer for 1 hour.
  5. At the end of the hour punch down the dough and set the timer for another hour. At the end of this hour the dough should be doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll it into two balls
  7. Place the balls into prepared pans (a round cake pan with parchment will work just fine).. Cover with a warm damp towel and let the dough rise for 40 minutes to an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Once the dough have doubled brush it with the egg wash. You can also dust the tops with flour but if you do this don’t use the egg wash.
  9. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes rotating them halfway through baking.
  10. Remove the pans from the oven and remove them from the bread pans to a rack and let them cool.
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