A long long time again in a galaxy far far away . . . wait no not quite. A long time ago in a state far away, I bought a bread machine and proceeded to make bread bricks (literally – just ask my kids). Along the way I got better at bread baking and found a recipe on a usenet or forum for bread machines called “Trashy Wheat Bread” which was lighter than whole wheat. My twist was to use honey instead of sugar, so it became “Trashy Honey Wheat Bread” and my go-to favorite receipt for my many bread machines (I’m on my fourth one now and thinking about upgrading to the latest Zojirishi this year).
Once my kids left me an empty nester, the need to bake bread two or three times a week lessened, and my bread machine gathered dust. I’d pull it out of storage for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the dough cycle only (to make the family traditional Sticky Buns).
Early in the pandemic, I had a brief resurgent interest in sourdough but after a few months, the carbs weighed on me and both the sourdough starter and the bread machine suffered from my neglect.
Now that I’ve moved halfway across the country near my kids and grandchildren, I’ve been paying my rent in bread. Of course, my daughter asked for the aforementioned trashy honey wheat bread, which I attempted to make multiple times but could never quite get the recipe right. I went searching for a blog post here assuming that I had written up the original recipe for posterity, but the link took me to an old blog posting that was no longer viable.
So, I searched the internet hoping to find the original forum post but again no luck. Instead, I took a different tact and searched for recipes specific to my Zojirushi and found a Half-and-Half Bread recipe that I began tweaking to more closely resemble my Trashy Honey Wheat recipe. Two days ago, I hit the proverbial bread ball out of the park when my daughter took the loaf out of the bread machine and proclaimed success.
Here’s what I did using my Zojirushi Breadmaker BB-CEC20:
Honey Half-and-Half Bread
- 1 3/4 c water
- 2 T oil (I used Trader Joe’s sunflower oil)
- 3 T (heaping) local raw honey
- 2 c King Arthur White Whole Wheat
- 3 c organic bread flour
- 2 T vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 T non-fat dry milk (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 1/2 tsp bread salt (or sea salt)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
Add the ingredients to the bread machine pan according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually liquids first, then dry with yeast last in a small hole made in the flour on top.
I selected a light crust and the regular basic bread cycle leaving the pre-heat on and pressed the Start cycle button. Now you can relax for about three hours.
I checked the dough right before the rise portion of the cycle began and the dough looked and felt perfect.
The next time I make this, I may use the dough cycle and then shape and bake the bread in the oven. Five cups of flour seem a bit on the high side for this bread machine.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.