Italian Wheat Bread
Makes 3 large Italian Wheat Bread Loaves
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pkg. dry yeast
3 cups warm water
1 egg white
Sesame seeds (optional)
Non-stick cooking spray
Spray 3 large cookie or baking sheets diagonally across with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl or measuring container, that will hold at least 3 cups of water, dissolve yeast and 1/2 Tbsp. sugar in 1 cup warm water. Set aside and let proof (rise) to at least 2-3 cups.
In a large mixer bowl, in a KitchenAid set to speed 2 or second lowest speed and using a dough hook, add flour, 1 Tbsp.of sugar, salt and softened butter. Mix a little at a time adding powdered milk and slowly adding 2 cups of warm water. Slowly add yeast mixture and let the dough hook on the KitchenAid knead flour mixture into a large ball of dough.
Lightly flour a large flat surface and begin hand kneading ball of dough for 8-10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to form a nice smooth ball of dough (slightly sticky to the touch).
Drizzle olive oil all around the dough and place it back into the KitchenAid bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, leaving the dough to rise, until it has doubled in size.
After dough has risen to double its’ original size then punch it down in the middle with your fist. Divide into thirds and roll out dough into a triangle. Starting at the small point, roll out a long log and pinch the ends under.
Place the bread loaves onto the three large diagonally pre-coated baking sheets. Score the tops of the bread loaves with 2-3 inch diagonal slits in 3-4 places, but do not cut too deep.
Brush tops and sides of bread loaves with egg white and sprinkle lightly with (optional) sesame seeds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until top is a light golden brown.
Slice and serve immediately, after completely cooled on a cooling rack. Store in a cool dry place in sealed bags or containers, until ready to slice and serve.
Karen’s Note: This Italian Wheat Bread can also be put into freezer bags or containers and be frozen and then thawed when ready to serve. Heat thawed bread in oven at 350 degrees F for about 5-8 minutes. We usually use this Italian Wheat Bread recipe to make 2-3 pizzas and 1-2 medium sized bread loaves.
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