Not long after Kevin and I were married, I attended a church activity for women where they had a lady who taught about making bread and she shared this recipe for Blessed Bread with us. I have made it a number of times since then. This is a great bread that doesn’t take a lot of work (especially if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook to do all the work). Mix it up in the morning, let the mixer do the kneading, cover it and forget about it. I love how the lady wrote up the recipe. One step, “later, if you feel like it (you’re the boss), punch down the dough”. You can let this bread rise anywhere for 2-3 hours to overnight. Then just shape it, let it rest 20-30 minutes and bake. It forms a nice crust and is kind of dense, but soft on the inside. It is perfect for spaghetti night or any meal where you just want a little slice of bread along with it. It also has a little added fiber from using a bit of whole wheat flour.
Blessed Bread, from Jane Wise
(A great rustic bread that is the fix it and forget about it kind of dough.)
For two loaves (one to eat and one to givea way):
Into a large bowl (for hand mixing) or the bowl of a mixer put:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 heaping teaspoon salt
½ scant teaspoon yeast (if you plan to leave the dough overnight, use ¼ teaspoon)
Stir these dry ingredients together and add:
2 cups warm water
Mix until all the flour is wet and the dough is the consistency of cake batter. Then add:
3 to 3 ½ cups additional unbleached white flour
Knead the dough well, 6-8 minutes by hand or in a mixer for 6-8 minutes. Cover the dough in an oiled bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a cool, draft-free place and go about your business.
Whenever you happen to get home, punch down the dough, knead it a few times (but only if you feel like it), cover it, and forget about it until convenient.
Sometime later (you are the boss), punch it down, shape it into two baguettes, brush the tops with egg white mixed with a little water, slash the tops with 3 or 4 diagonal cuts, and cover with a damp dish towel for 20-30 minutes. Preaheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place on a baking stone (I just put the shaped loaves on the stone or baking sheet for their 30 minute rise time). Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
For fun I shaped the two loaves differently—one as a baguette and the other was more round. The baguette shaped bread is better, but not that they really tasted different.
I was chosen (read: suckered into, hehe jk) to teach a bread making class at a recent church activity about using whole wheat. I shared a couple different recipes and this Blessed Bread is one of them. The other recipes I shared were the No Knead Bread and this great Honey Whole Wheat Bread. The class was broken up in to two groups, so I demoed (and had someone volunteer to do the work and I let them take home the dough to make their own bread) the No Knead Bread twice. That is such a simple bread to make as well—in fact, there’s no kneading from you or your mixer. Mix up the sticky dough and let it sit covered for 12-18 hours. Form it into a loaf and let it rest 2 hours—bake. That’s it. That is also a great bread that is even more crusty and full of flavor, almost just a touch of sourdough taste. I did make that kind with some whole wheat flour, but the version with just all purpose flour is definitely the best. I had samples of each kind of bread for the ladies to try. All three were a big hit.
Here’s a picture of the No Knead Bread I posted a couple years ago. I didn’t take any of it this time.
Try this No Knead Bread, it’s so easy and you really can’t kill it.
Another super delicious bread I shared with the class was the Honey Whole Wheat Bread that Maria shared on her blog, Two Peas and Their Pod. This could be the best homemade sandwich type bread I’ve ever had. Everyone in the class LOVED this one. It shapes into perfect loaves without much effort and is also such that all the work kneading is done by the mixer and it only rises IN THE PANS for 30 minutes. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
I didn’t take any new pictures of this bread (more focused on getting the class done and over with). I think over the course of the last week I baked about 10 different loaves of bread!
Make homemade bread because it’s so much better and you can do it!