Country Wheat Bread

Country Wheat Bread

Wendy Stewart 12

"I made a lot of bread before I finally got the perfect blend of ingredients. Some tips I learned: take the water's temperature before you add the yeast, and knead for at least 10 minutes to get the gluten right. It bakes two beautiful loaves every time!"
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Original recipe yields 16 servings



  • Prep

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  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water (must be the right temperature) and stir in the honey.
  2. Wait 10 minutes for the yeast to activate (foam forms on top).
  3. Once activated, add the sugar, salt, eggs, oil and wheat flour.
  4. Add two cups of the bread flour.
  5. Mix until blended.
  6. Continue to add the bread flour (1/4 cup at a time) until it forms a soft sticky dough. (from 2 1/2 to 4 cups depending on humidity, etc.)
  7. Place on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Knead dough for 10 - 15 minutes adding small amounts of flour as needed.
  9. (You want it to be somewhat wet feeling but not wet enough to stick to your hands.)
  10. Knead until the "baker's window" forms: take a small amount of dough (about the size of a golf ball) and roll it into a ball. Pull the edges on all sides until the center becomes very thin. If you can hold it up to the light and see light through it, it is ready. If it rips or tears in the middle, keep kneading.) Your bread should be smooth and elastic.
  11. Form a tight ball with the dough, and place in a very large bowl greased with vegetable oil.
  12. Roll the ball around in the oiled bowl until it is covered with a light coating of oil.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (80 degrees F is perfect).
  14. Let it rise for about one hour until it doubles in size.
  15. On a floured surface, tip over the bowl and pour out the doubled dough.
  16. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.
  17. If you are going to place it in a loaf pan, shape it into a rectangle to fit the pan. If you are going to braid it, do that now. If you are going to make basic round bread on a baking stone or baking sheet, just form a ball.
  18. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  19. Grease the loaf pans if you are using these.
  20. If you are using a baking stone (recommended) or baking sheet grease it and sprinkle the surface with the corn meal.
  21. Place the dough pieces in the pans or on the baking surfaces you plan to cook it in/on.
  22. Gently brush all exposed surfaces lightly with the beaten egg. (This makes it look amazing and makes the crust turn out better, but not necessary.)
  23. If you made a loaf or a basic ball, gently cut (with a very sharp knife) the top surface of the dough in several places, approximately 1/3 to 1/2-inch deep. The standard would be the shape of a square on top of the loaf, but you can do an X on top, slash lines, whatever you would like. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow to double in size again for around 1 hour.
  24. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  25. Place a small ovenproof bowl filled with 1 cup of water on the bottom rack of the oven. (This improves the texture of the crust.)
  26. Cook risen dough for 25-30 minutes.
  27. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.



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