Column and photo by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

This bread is modified from one of my favorite, most reliable baking books. The original recipe was for rustic bran & cracked wheat bread, which I altered to make a simple, slightly sweet wheat bread, primarily because I didn’t have bran or cracked wheat. Combined with the smooth honey butter, this makes a great breakfast side or slightly sweet snack.

Costs: Wicked cheap, it’s mostly flour
Makes: One medium-large loaf

For the bread:
1 1/2 cups warm water, approximately 110 F
2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2-3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1 1/4 salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
Extra wheat flour for dusting

For the honey butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: In a large mixing bowl, pour in the water and the yeast and stir gently. Let the mixture sit for two minutes until the yeast dissolves. Add in the wheat flour, honey and salt and combine. Then add bread flour and continue mixing with a spoon or a dough hook for about five minutes. The dough will be soft, but not shaggy.  Spray with cooking spray and cover the dough and the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour.

Roll the dough out onto a flour-dusted surface, and knead two or three times before molding into a ball. Place on a baking sheet, either greased or covered in parchment paper. Spray the dough again, cover with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise for about 30 more minutes. Remove plastic wrap, and cut a shallow “X” in the top of the dough.  Bake between 30-40 minutes at 375 F, until the bread is cooked through.

For the honey butter, mix the honey and vanilla into the butter, and whip thoroughly with a whisk until the butter is fluffy.

This recipe was based on a recipe for bran and bulgur wheat bread in Marcy Goldman’s book “A Passion for Baking.” It’s one of my favorites; you should check it out.