Cheap Recipe: Funky Spiral Wheat Bread

18 Feb


Like ebony and ivory. But much, much softer.

This is a fun variation on weekend breadmaking at our house that I like to whip out when someone’s coming over. Cutting the loaf can be a surprise because you’re never quite sure what the layers did while the dough was rising, but it always comes out looking good and tasting even better.

The recipe below will yield two loaves. Sometimes I add another half recipe to the mix so I have an extra loaf to give away. (So if you see three loaves in a photo, that’s why.)


Combine flour & warm water.


First off, warm 1/2 cup honey in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or just long enough to thin it a bit. Pull it out of the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

In a heavy breadbowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour with 2 cups warm (not hot) water. Stir in a tablespoon of salt and the warm honey. Incorporate for about thirty seconds.

Next, add the contents of 2 packets of rapid-rise dry breadmaker’s yeast and mix well with a spoon. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and set aside for 10-15 minutes.


A tale of two bread doughs.


When dough has become a little frothy, divide it into 2 halves in separate bowls and add a (lightly) beaten egg to each bowl. Mix with spoon as best you can. One bowl will become your white bread, and the other will become wheat.

To the first bowl, add 1-1/2 cups more all-purpose or bread flour and mix/knead until incorporated. To the second bowl, add 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour and mix/knead together. If you want a stark contrast in your swirled colors for the finished product, you can add a small amount of brown food coloring paste (not liquid!) before adding the wheat flour. Otherwise, the swirl will be a little bit more subtle.

At this point, you can use up to an additional 1/2 cup all-purpose or bread flour per bowl to give each loaf a pliable and non-sticky texture ready for forming. Work this additional flour in a couple of tablespoons at a time to avoid using more than necessary.


Halve the 2 doughs to make 4 balls.


When both doughs are ready to be formed, use a butterknife to cross-cut each type of dough into two pieces. Now you have two balls of white bread dough and two balls of wheat dough.

Flour a kneading surface and heavily butter two loaf pans. For each loaf, use a rolling pin to roll out one ball of white dough and one ball of wheat dough into rectangles as large and thin as possible. Stack the 2 rectangles (in either order) and once again roll out with pin to flatten them together as much as possible.


Layer the two doughs and roll to flatten together.


Starting on one short side of the merged rectangular dough, begin rolling the dough over on itself toward the other end. Go slowly to avoid trapping pockets of air inside the layers. Repeat process for the second loaf, placing formed loaves in the buttered pans.


You can place them outdoors in the sun, but make sure ants aren’t a problem first!


Butter the tops of the dough loaves before covering loosely with saran wrap. Place the two loaf pans on a cookie sheet and position near a sunny windowsill or other warm place if possible and allow to rise for 30-60 minutes.


Jamie loves to climb up on my kitchen milk stool to admire cooling loaves of freshly-baked bread.


Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Remove from oven, butter the loaf tops once again, but leave loaves in hot pans for at least 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Slice it thinly for sandwiches and catch lots of curious glances in the office lunchroom. 🙂





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