Gluten is an additive that is all natural, yet helps keep the bread fresh, gives better volume to your rise, and, in general, gives you a superior loaf. You can find it in the flour section of a good grocery store.
For a real treat, slice while still warm and spread on home-made jam.
Heat the milk until it starts to bubble, remove from heat. Stir in the butter, honey, and molasses, and set aside to cool.
While it is cooling, mix the dry ingredients (do not add the white flour, you mix that in later). When the milk mixture is under 120 degrees F, or lukewarm, beat it into the dry ingredients with the regular beater or a heavy duty mixer set on medium low, beat 2 minutes, until well mixed. (by hand, beat about 5 minutes).
Switch to the dough hook on the mixer and add the white flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on low 4 - 5 minutes. By hand, knead the flour in, then knead 8 - 10 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with baking spray and put the dough in it. Spray the top of the dough, cover, and let rise until doubled. This may be as fast as 20 minutes if using instant rise yeast. Punch the dough down, knead a few times, then cut in half. Shape into a roll or a circle.
Place roll in a bread pan sprayed with baking spray. For a round loaf, dust baking sheet with cornmeal and place loaf on this. Cover and let rise until double, 15 minutes or so. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 35 - 45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
My photo shows 1 round and 1 long loaf.
By Free2B from North Royalton, OH
I would start adding all sorts of dried fruits and chopped nuts like pecans and walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and I'd get the heaviest, and most delicious "fruit bread". A slice of it toasted lightly and spread with peanut butter makes a wonderful hearty breakfast treat.
This is a great recipe Barb. Thank you for sharing it.
My mouth was watering just looking at the photo. : ) I'll give this a whirl too.
Thanks for another great recipe.
Julia, it just sounds heavenly that way. Sunflower seeds are real good additions too. Throwing in some dried fruit, nuts, seeds, things like that, and spreading on some good jam is a real good meal, too.
I really hate to burst anyone's bubble, but gluten do not help keep the bread any fresher then not using it. Gluten provides better dough structure. If you really want to keep it fresher a bit longer try adding 1/2 teaspoon vinegar.