Although many home cooks and bakers are intimidated by making their own yeast bread, they shouldn't be! This easy maple wheat bread is one of the simplest recipes to follow, and the bread it yields is marvelous fresh out of the oven, toasted, or with a yummy fall harvest soup.
NOTE: after adding the 2 cups whole wheat flour, make sure to add just a little bit at a time to prevent your dough from being to dry. It should stick slightly to your hands but then pull away without tearing.
Makes 3 9"x5" loaves
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 3 cups warm water
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup maple syrup, divided
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 T. canola oil or olive oil
- 1 T. sea salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more if needed (see Head Note)
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the warm water and active dry yeast, gently agitate with a wooden spoon, and then let the mixture rest for several minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface of the water (if this does not happen, your yeast is no longer "active," and you should discard, use fresh yeast, and try again). Add 1/3 cup of the maple syrup and the 5 cups of all-purpose flour, mixing until just combined. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let the dough rest in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until risen and bubbly.
2. Add the remaining 1/3 cup maple syrup, oil, and salt. Add the whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time. Lightly flour a clean surface with additional whole wheat flour, and knead the loaf with your hands, adding whole wheat flour as needed, until the dough is sticky but pulls away from your hands without tearing. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning the loaf to coat, cover the bowl with a dish towel, and let the dough rise for about 1 hour-1 hour and 30 minutes, or until doubled.
3. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil three 9"x5" loaf pans.
4. Punch down the dough, turn out onto a clean unfloured surface and divide into three loaves. Knead each slightly, then place into the prepared loaf pans. Cover loosely with a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the loaves have risen about the pans by about 1/2 inch -1 inch.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.