Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Honey-Lemon Whole-Wheat Bread

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads is one of my favourite bread books, but I have been neglecting it for quite a while, and it's time to revisit this book and bake something from it again. From the many label stickers that are sticking out from the pages of the book, I chose this recipe, Honey-Lemon Whole-Wheat Bread, one that I have been wanting to make for ages.

Originally, the dough is left to rise in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 2 hours, until the dough has risen to double its size. But I have made the usual way, and left the dough to rise at room temperature for the final rising, and bake it on the same day.

I've made only one loaf. In the recipe below, listed in blue, I have given the measurements for one loaf of bread. Please note that the amount of flour and water that I've used may not work for you, as it depends on the moistness of the dough. Feel free to adjust accordingly.

The changes I've made is to substitute the shortening with butter. I have reduced the salt slightly, using only 3/4 teaspoon. The dough was rather sticky at the initial stage, so I've added a quarter cup of bread flour at a time until the dough no longer sticks at the side of the bowl. The amount of additional bread flour that I've used was 3/4 cup, making it a  total of 2-1/4 cups in all. For the whole-wheat flour, I've used 1 cup in total.

The dough rises beautifully and bakes into a lovely brown loaf. I tent the loaf with foil at 30 minutes baking time, as the dough is getting really brown. I baked the loaf for 40 minutes.

This is one lovely, fabulous bread. Very soft, light and tasty with fabulous crumbs. I love it spread with cold salted butter. Definitely one bread that is worth making again.

Measurements listed in blue in the recipe below, is my own measurements, to make one loaf of bread, with adjustments of my own. Feel free to add more or use less flour as needed. 

Honey-Lemon Whole-Wheat Bread
(Bernard Claytons's New Complete Book of Breads)
makes 2 loaves
3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (1-1/2 cups + 3/4 cups bread flour)
2 packages dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons salt (3/4 teaspoon)
2-1/2 cups hot water (120° - 130°) (1 cup)
1/4 cup honey (2 tbsp)
3 tablespoons shortening, room temperature (1-1/2 tbsp, about 30gm, butter)
1 tablespoon grated or diced lemon peel (1/2 tbsp lemon zest)
2 to 3 cups whole-wheat flour, approximately  (1 cup)
vegetable oil

Baking pans : 2 large (9"x5") baking pans, greased or Teflon

In a large mixer bowl, combine the white flour, yeast, and salt. Pour in the hot water. Add the honey, shortening, and lemon peel. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon to blend, or for 2 minutes at medium speed with the mixer flat beater. Scrape the bowl occasionally. (I use the dough hook).
Add one cup (half cup if making one loaf) whole-wheat flour.  Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The batter will be thick and rubberlike, and pull away from the bowl in strands.
Stop beating. Stir in an additional 1 to 2 cups (half cup if making one loaf) whole-wheat flour, depending on the moistness of the developing dough. The dough should be elastic, soft, and, at this stage, not overly sticky. If the dough continues to be slack and moist, add sprinkles of white flour. Knead for 10 minutes, adding sprinkles of flour is the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl.
(The dough was really sticky, I've added a quarter cup of bread flour at a time, using a total of 3/4 cup. Dough will leave the sides of the bowl, but is still just slightly sticky).
Cover the dough with a towel or a length of wax paper and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. (I transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, shape into a ball, and place in an oiled mixing bowl. Turn dough over so the oiled side is up. Cover bowl loosely with greased cling wrap, and allow dough to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes).
Knead the dough for 30 seconds to press out the bubbles, and divide into 2 pieces (no need to divide if making only one loaf). Shape into balls and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
Form each loaf by pressing a ball under your palms or with a rolling pin into a flat oval, roughly the length of the baking pan. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam tightly to seal, tuck under the ends, and place in the pan, seam down.
Brush the surface of the dough with vegetable oil. Cover the pans loosely with wax paper. and then with plastic wrap. The loose covering allows the dough to rise above the level of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours to double the volume. (I did not place the dough in the refrigerator. I left the dough to rise on my kitchen counter, cover loosely with oiled cling wrap, until doubled in size and bake as directed below).
Remove the pan from the refrigerator and let stand while the oven heat to 400°, about 20 minutes.
Uncover the loaves. Prick any surface bubbles with a toothpick just before slipping the loaves into the oven. (My risen dough has no surface bubbles). Bake on the lower rack of the hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes. When the loaves are brown and tapping the bottom crust yields a hard, hollow sound, they are done. If not, return them in their pans to the oven for up to an additional 10 minutes.  (If the bread gets too brown before they are done, cover the top with foil).
(If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50° and bake for 40 minutes, or until the loaves test done, as above).
Remove the bread from the oven, turn from the pan immediately, and place on a metal rack to cool.
Note : for a soft crust, brush with melted butter or margarine as soon as bread comes out of the oven.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #19 hosted by 


  1. absolutely beautiful bread!! xoxo

  2. Looks beautiful and sounds good! I haven't made bread in a long time so this would be a great one to bake, thanks@

  3. oh wow, I want a piece of that bread , looks so nice and soft .