Friday, 8 January 2010

Free Recipe Friday - Herb & Parmesean Cheese Whole Wheat Bread

I got something very exciting for Christmas.  It was a heavy duty mixer and I am in love  (Thanks mom and dad!).  I have always wanted to make our own bread and so since Christmas, I have been trying out different recipes on our family.  I have to say my first couple of attempts were not the best.  We actually could have used the loafs as weapons because they we so hard but they were not much use as bread!   Since then I have learned that yeast has an expiry date (who knew?!?) so make sure you check yours before you use it.   I  also learned that whole wheat bread likes warm but not hot places to rise.  So now that I have figured all that out, I thought I would share what I have learned with you.  As I often do I tried this bread recipe out last night on our worship team.  There where lots of good comments as soon as people walked in the door as the bread had just come out of the oven and it made our house smell great!  It was still warm when we served it with some homemade soups. 

I highly recommend sharing this bread with others.  We do this every week and then we all study scripture together.  Honestly, even though there are lots of people in our house and at times it can get a bit crazy I love that we share a meal together.  Hospitality doesn't have to be fancy or perfect.  You don't have to Martha.  The point is spending time and sharing your life with others.  So I challenge you to make a date with some friends this week.  Have them over, don't spend your time in the kitchen making a gourmet meal, spend it with them and share about your life.  You may be surprised at the wonderful and spiritually important conversations that you have.  

Herb & Parmesan Cheese Whole Wheat Bread

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour or multigrain flour
2 1/2 cups of white flour
2 1/2 cups of warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons of instant (quick rise) yeast

1 cup additional whole wheat flour,  to add as needed
extra Parmesan cheese and herbs for top of bread

Place the first 13 ingredients into your heavy duty mixer in the order listed.  Knead with your dough hook.  My machine recommends on speed 2.  Quickly add the additional flour in until the dough pulls away from the sides of the dough.  Knead for 9 minutes.  Remove your dough out of your mixer bowl and divide into two loaves.  Oil 2 loaf pans and then place your dough in each pan to rise.  Let rise about 40-45 minutes or until they double in size.  I place plastic wrap over each of my loaf pans and put them under the light that is over my stove.  My mom says you can place them in your oven and turn on your oven light.  Any warm (but not hot) place will do. 

When your bread has finished rising, turn oven on to 350 degrees.  Add additional Parmesan cheese and herbs on the top of each loaf.   Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of your bread are brown and sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from pans and let cool completely before storing.  Since there are no preservatives in this bread you will probably need to eat it the same day or the next day.  It doesn't last long in my house so I never have to worry.  It freezes well if you want to make it ahead.

Notes: In making this recipe I have used both whole wheat flour and a multigrain bread flour.  This picture of the herb bread has the multigrain flour.  The loaf is also a little small as I did not divide them evenly and we ate the large one before I could get a photo!   The first photo is just plain whole wheat bread which is also very yummy.  If you would like to make just plain whole wheat bread then omit the parmesan cheese, herbs and garlic.  If you don't have honey you can use sugar and I used fresh herbs but if you don't have any I am sure that you can use dried.

Enjoy!  Check back next week as I introduce some new posts!

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