This recipe was inspired by Maurizio Leo’s 100% honey wheat bread. If you’re into making sourdough, I highly recommend checking out his website The Perfect Loaf, or his cookbook of the same name. No, this is not sponsored.
Honey Wheat Bread
600 g/ml of room temperature water
433 g whole wheat flour
433 g bread flour
280 g whole milk
70 g bread flour
- The Dough
60 g softened unsalted butter
60 g honey
30 g water
18 g fine sea salt
5 g instant dry yeast
- Mix the Autolyse
- Add the water and flour to a large mixing bowl and mix until all of the flour is absorbed into the dough. Cover and let rest for one hour.
- Make the Tangzhong
- While the autolyse is resting, place the 280 grams of whole milk and 70 grams of bread flour in a 2-quart saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms, about 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the tangzhong onto a plate to cool.
- Mix the Dough
- Pour half of the remaining water into the yeast and stir to create a slurry.
- To the autolyse, add the tangzhong, butter, honey, remaining water, salt, and yeast slurry. Mix with wet hands until combined. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for one hour.
- Knead the Dough
- After an hour, uncover the bowl and grab the edge of the dough furthest away from you. Stretch the dough up and fold it towards you. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the stretching and folding seven more times. Cover the bowl and place it back in the fridge for an hour, repeating the process four more times.
- After the fifth set of stretch and folds, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
- Shape The Dough
- Grease two 9x4x4 Pullman loaf pans.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. It should have risen somewhat and have a rounded edge. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into two equal pieces.
- Shape the dough into two rounds (for a visual, check the four-minute mark in the video below) and let rest uncovered on the work surface for 25 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested. sprinkle the top of the rounds with flour and use a dough scraper to flip the dough so the floured side is on the bottom. Stretch one side of the dough to the center, then the other side slightly overlapping the first fold. Then grab the edge of the dough furthest away from you and roll it towards you (five-minute mark). Repeat with the second round.
- Place the dough into greased 9x4x4 Pullman loaf pans seam side down, cover, and let proof in a warm place for one to two hours or until the dough has almost reached the top of the pan.
- Bake the Dough
- While the dough is proofing, heat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit or 218 Celsius.
- Once the oven has heated, place the pans into the oven, side by side. If using the lid, bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If the top of the dough starts to get too brown, loosely cover with foil and continue baking until the internal temperature is 205 Fahrenheit or 96 Celsius. The loaf should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool for one to two hours before slicing.
- I made this bread by hand. You could use a mixer, but I’m not sure how the timing for mixing and kneading would work.
- As with almost all of my baking recipes, I measure all of the ingredients with a scale and in grams. This helps everything stay as consistent and accurate as possible. I recommend buying a scale that weighs up to five kilograms.
- When you first begin stretching the dough, it will be quite shaggy but will smooth out over time.
- This bread takes a while to come together, but most of that time is rest time. I recommend starting it on a Friday or a day before you have a day off.
- This dough uses a tangzhong, a method used to make the bread very soft and stay fresh longer.
- Do not walk away from the tangzhong while it is cooking. Once you notice the paste thickening, it will come together in less than a minute.
Honey wheat bread is the bread of my childhood.
We would buy the one in the clear and orange bag and use it to make egg sandwiches, bologna sandwiches, cheese, peanut butter and raisin, or potato fry sandwiches (that one wasn’t as often), or we would squish a slice into a ball and nibble on it as a snack.
I also remember my mom making bread and butter pudding with honey wheat bread. She cut off all the crusts of an entire loaf, spread butter on one side of each slice, and then cut them into strips.
I don’t remember what happened after that (I should ask her if she remembers the recipe), but I do remember that it was delicious.
At some point, we stopped buying honey wheat bread, but once I started baking it became a goal to come up with a recipe of my own.
It took a while, but I’ve finally got it!