When life gets stressful I often turn to my kitchen. My little 70’s kitchen may not make the cover of Better Homes & Gardens, but to me, it’s an oasis.
The appeal really isn’t the kitchen itself. It’s more than the old brown cabinets and speckled cream counter-tops. It’s the work, the art, the act of kneading and chopping. The smell of hard work simmering on the stove, and fresh baked bread rising in the oven. The act of flour covered hands and an apron in need of washing.
Out of everything made in my kitchen, bread tops my “must make” list (I’m a list-maker, remember?). The kneading, rising, and little eyes peeking over the well-worked counter to watch the action, calms my stress, resulting in a delicious loaf of homemade perfection.
While bread may appear hard to make, it’s really one of the simplest homemade foods one can attempt. The trick to a good bread always starts with an active yeast (or a natural yeast if making sourdough). Followed by just the right amount of flour to produce a dough that’s stretchy and workable. And finally, a healthy amount of kneading. With those three combos from-scratch bread is just a pan and hot oven away.
Today’s recipe is a new favorite, a bread made with an ingredient that often doesn’t receive much bread attention: cottage cheese. Now, I hear ya, “No way! I’m not putting cottage cheese in my bread. Yuck!”. Or maybe that was just my response? I too was skeptical. But friend, sometimes even the biggest skeptics can be proved wrong.
This easy bread (made with Red Star Yeast) is moist and soft, easy to cut, and makes the most delicious toast or sandwiches (without a cottage cheese taste). It’s a bread that won’t disappoint, leaving behind the pleasant taste of homemade satisfaction.
Special Whole Wheat Bread
- Have milk, water and honey at 80°F, and all other ingredients at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select basic cycle and medium/normal crust. Do not use delay timer. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. When bread is done baking, take loaf out of pan and let cool on wire rack before slicing.
*The original recipe calls for bread flour. You’re welcome to use bread flour, I chose to use white whole wheat.