I read an article about mental health that said people who "work" with their hands have markedly better mental health than those who don't.
This can take many forms: playing piano, gardening, sewing, decorating, cleaning,
baking bread, woodworking, painting, fixing a car, dusting (okay, maybe not dusting).
So to improve my mental health and that of my sweet sister-in-law Loraine last Saturday, we made whole wheat bread.
She had never worked with yeast before.
And she did a wonderful job--totally "got" the kneading technique and the bread was seriously the best whole wheat bread I have made in years.
(Okay, truth be told, I don't make bread all that often.)
Here she is.
And here is the delicious result.
Best Whole Wheat Bread
A slightly sweet, healthy half-whole-wheat bread
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I did use King Arthur flour this time)
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast – I always use quick rise (bread machine) yeast.
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir.
2. Add flours and yeast, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Shape into a loaf and place in greased loaf pan.
Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled; about an hour
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If loaf starts browning too soon, lightly place tin foil on top until bread is done.
5. Remove bread from oven and allow to rest in pan for a few minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cover with a cloth.