Honey Whole Wheat Bread

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Aren’t old cookbooks the best?  My mom has an old copy of a Farm Journal Canning & Freezing Cookbook that I have photocopied lots of recipes from to put in my big recipe binder.  I particularly like this book because you can almost read it like a novel, there are interesting notes and comments on the recipes that feel a bit like cracking open a time capsule.   One of my favorites is a recipe for Honey Whole Wheat bread, not only is this a delicious recipe, but it’s a big one.  It make THREE LOAVES of bread, 1 to eat now and 2 to freeze for later, saving you time down the road!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
6 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup honey
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cup cups milk
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 – 8 cups all purpose flour
melted butter

The recipe calls for 1 cup of mashed potatoes, so first I pricked two potatoes and popped them in the microwave for 10 minutes, scooped out the inside and mashed them up with a fork.  Alternately, you could use leftover mashed potatoes, or even instant potato flakes mixed with water

Combine 1/2 cup warm water & yeast in a bowl.  Stir to dissolve and set aside

Melt shortening in a large pan.  Remove from heat, add honey, remaining 3 cups water, milk & mashed potatoes

Add whole wheat flour & salt.  Stir until smooth with wire whisk

Add yeast mixture and whisk smooth

With a large spoon, mix in enough all purpose flour to make a dough that cleans the pan (I mixed in 6 cups – so I could use the remaining 2 cups while kneading)

Knead on a lightly floured counter until smooth and satiny (8-10 minutes)

Grease a large bowl.  Put dough ball in bowl and then turn dough so the greased part is facing up

Cover & let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1-1.5 hours)

Punch down the dough and divide in thirds.  Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Shape into 3 loaves and place in greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans.  For a smooth top, let the dough drape over your fist, then gently roll into loaf shape.  Brush with melted butter

Cover & let rise until doubled (about 1 hour)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Remove from pans and cool on racks.  Wrap as soon as cool.  Loaves can be frozen for up to 9 months.  To thaw, let bread sit in it’s wrapper at room temperature on a wire rack


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