Whole Wheat Yogurt Sandwich Loaf

This past week I got going on a new whole wheat sourdough starter here at my parents’ house, using the same whole wheat/pineapple juice combination from last year. I am on Day 4, and am starting to get lots of bubbly activity, so I think my little seed starter is good and strong.

We still need bread while we’re waiting though—I’ve made this whole wheat yogurt bread several times now, and it makes a fantastic basic sandwich bread. It can be made with either 100% white whole wheat flour or some combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flours; for this most recent batch, I used 50% all-purpose and 50% whole wheat and spelt flours. I also love that this bread calls for yogurt, since there is always some in the refrigerator to be used up! I also doubled the recipe this time to make a large loaf of bread for slicing plus a 9×13 pan of knotted dinner rolls. Sorry there aren’t more photos—this bread never seems to last long enough for beauty shots!

Whole Wheat Yogurt Bread

2 T orange or pineapple juice
1 C lukewarm water
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast (or one packet)
3 T granulated sugar
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/4 C coconut oil
1 tsp salt
4 C flour (your preference: some combination of white whole wheat, stoneground whole wheat, spelt, and all-purpose or bread flour)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water and juice. Sprinkle with the yeast and granulated sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add the yogurt, coconut oil, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Use a wooden spoon to mix, beating vigorously to start to develop the gluten in the flour (or use the paddle on your stand mixer). Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing with the wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball. At that point, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface, and knead until you have a smooth dough (about 6-8 minutes; or switch to the dough hook). The amount of flour needed will vary on the humidity and other factors. Add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands as you knead.

Return the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover (with plastic wrap or a damp towel), and let rise until the dough has doubled (about an hour or two). It has risen sufficiently when the imprint of your fingers remains and the dough doesn’t spring back up.

Punch down the dough and form it into the shape of a loaf. A braid-topped loaf is a nice touch: reserve 1/3 of the dough, divide it into three long strands, and create a braid, then just place it on top of the loaf and tuck in the ends. Place the shaped loaf into a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise for an additional hour. Alternatively, you can divide the dough into 12 equal rounds, knot or shape them as desired for rolls, and arrange them in a greased 9×13 pan; cover and let rise.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes; you may need to cover with aluminum foil at some point to prevent over-browning. The internal temperature of the bread should be 190°F when the loaf is done. Alternately, bake your rolls at 400°F for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown; slather with butter while still hot!

Let the bread rest in the pan for a minute or two before transferring it to a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Source: Slightly adapted from My Kitchen Addiction.

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