Willow’s Honey Bread
A few years ago the little girl I babysat for got in the car after school carrying this bread fresh from the oven at school. She had made it with her teacher that day as a special project. It smelled SO GOOD I could hardly drive the 15 minutes home without tearing into it! We ate almost the whole loaf when we got home, and it was truly the best tasting bread I’ve ever had. I emailed her teacher immediately for the recipe! I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years to make it perfect. The bread has a sweetness to it from the honey that is so delicious even by itself , but it’s also great with butter or almost anything on it! And my husband eats sandwiches on this bread almost every day!
- 1 3/4 cups warm water (microwave for 1 min 30 seconds to a temp of 125-130 f)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 1/2 tsp quick acting/ quick rise/ instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups flour (any combo of all purpose or whole wheat or bread flour – I usually use 3 cups bread flour & 2 cups whole wheat)
In the bowl of a standing mixer using dough hook, mix together flour, warm water, olive oil, honey, salt, and yeast.
Start on stir to incorporate flour then mix for 5 minutes at speed 2-4.
Mix until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and forms around dough hook. If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour while mixing. Once you stop the mixer do not start it again, it will overwork the motor.
If you still need to add more flour do this by hand.
Form into a ball and put in oiled bowl to rise. Cover with towel and set inside microwave (turned off) or another draft free place and allow to rise for 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch it down to get the air out.
Divide into 2 or 3 equal parts and flatten each section out, then roll into loaves (making sure there are no air pockets inside) and put into loaf pans. My all time favorite loaf pans are the stoneware ones from Pampered Chef – I find my bread turns out perfectly EVERY time in them. Sometimes I make 2 large loaves, sometimes 3 smaller ones.
Cover and allow dough to rise again in loaf pans on your stovetop as your oven preheats to 350.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. If you’re unsure whether the bread is done, take it out of the loaf pan and thump the bottom with your fingers, it should sound hollow if it’s finished baking.
Allow loaves to cool on a cooking rack, slice with a bread knife, then store in an airtight container when completely cooled. Don’t forget to enjoy a piece hot from the oven, it’s the best thing in the world!
If you’re not using a mixer to make this bread, see the first version of this recipe here: