February 21, 2012

Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat Bread Copycat

When I was in highschool, there were a few different foods that I lived on.

Bread was one of them.  There were two different bread companies around, one of those was Great Harvest.  You could go there and get a free sample of bread, which happened to be a GIANT slice of bread.  Every single bread was delicious.  One of my favorites was the raspberry swirl (which I still need to find a copycat version for - if anyone has one - let me know)!  A free slice of bread was the perfect lunch for a highschooler, because that meant more gas money for cruising around town.  Eventually, they started charging 25 cents for a slice.

I have been eating a lot of wheat bread lately.  I had been making my go-to bread machine wheat bread, but then I found this Great Harvest copycat  recipe a few months ago.  I am not going to lie to you - I like this new recipe better!  My other recipe is still delicious and I still make it a few times a month, but this new recipe is AMAZING!  There is no oil or butter and no dough enhancers, but for some reason it stays fresh twice as long as my other recipe.  It is so tasty, super hearty, very moist and it is 100% whole wheat.  It might just be the perfect wheat bread (in my opinion)!

Serve with Coconut Oil Honey "Butter"
Great Harvest Whole Wheat Bread Copycat
adapted from: Find It Love It Share It

1 1/2 Tbl. instant yeast
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
3 - 4 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/2 c. any add-ins (oats, sunflower seeds, 
       ground flax seeds, etc.)

Combine yeast, water and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and bubbly.  Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, any add-ins and salt and mix until combined.  Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you get a soft dough.  The dough should barely pull away from the sides of the bowl and it will still be a little sticky.  Using the dough hook, knead for 4 minutes on low, cover and let rise until doubled.  Punch down dough (spray hands with cooking spray) and put in a greased loaf pan.  Let rise again until doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove loaf and cool completely.   

*If you use freshly ground wheat flour, you might need to add more like 5- 5 1/2 cups of flour.

Jenn's Notes: This bread is delicious.  I think it tastes best when made in my mixer, but I have also tried it in the bread machine and it will work, but it will be a little more chewy.  I usually add 1/2 cup oats and sometimes I will add a few tablespoons of sunflower seeds.  This makes one large loaf.   

99 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this!
    I have been looking for a great bread recipe to try. Love your blog!

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  2. Yum! Nothing quite like a slice of warm bread right out of the oven with a chunk of cold butter on it! Mmmmm, I can almost smell it! I just might have to make me some of this!

    MGM

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  3. Thanks so much for visiting! This looks awesome! We love honey wheat in this household, so this may be my bread for the week! Now following through linky :) Have a great day!

    ~Erika
    southernbelleasanarmywife.blogspot.com

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  4. Wow that looks really good.....you always have such wonderful recipes:)

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  5. So glad to have found this! I need a new wheat bread recipe. My kids are tired of my old standby- which isn't that fantastic really. I will be trying this in my bread machine. Should I use some bread flour too or just all wheat flour?

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    1. - Kate, when I tried this in my bread machine (I used the dough cycle, but baked it in the oven) I used all wheat flour. It worked and it was yummy, but it was a little better when I made it with my Kitchen Aid. Let me know how you like it. - Jenn

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  6. I will for sure be making this bread for the fam! I have to make it in my bread maker... I'm super scared to make bread in the oven for some reason. Wait, I think I am actually going to take a leap of faith and do it in the oven. Yep, that's what I'm gonna do! Thanks for a great recipe. {And for not deleting this comment when you read it. Geesh, I'm usually not so weird on my comments!} jules

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    1. - Jules - Whenever I use my bread machine for bread, I always use the dough cycle and then take out the bread, punch it down a few times to get out the air bubbles and place it in a greased loaf pan. Then, let it rise 15-20 minutes or so and then bake it in the oven. Super easy. I hate the crusts that bread machines give the bread. If you are going to try this recipe in the bread machine, then I think you should at least bake it in the oven. I promise it will be okay to bake it in the oven - ha ha! - Jenn

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    2. OH MY GOODNESS!!! SUCCESS!!! Thank you so much, Jenn! I made the dough in my bread machine, then did exactly what you said for oven baking. THANK YOU!!! It smelled heavenly while baking and tasted heavenly when it was done. We ate every last crumb, smeared with butter, of course!
      I am so glad you did this post. Thanks to you, I MADE BREAD!!! ;-)

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    3. I am SO glad it worked and that you enjoyed it! - Jenn

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  7. We love Great Harvest bread, so this will be delicious! We loved having you link up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope to have you back again soon!! -The Sisters

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  8. Came from Chef in Training. This looks and sounds so delicious!

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  9. Thanks for linking up at A Little Nosh...you're featured this week! http://www.alittlenosh.net/2012/02/tastetastic-thursday-31.html

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  10. I use this recipe every time. Delicious, easy, healthy, and vegan!

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    1. I made a vegan recipe and I didn't even realize it? That is exciting! I am so glad you like it. - Jenn

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    2. Honey is an animal product, therefore this recipe is not vegan.

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  11. I too used to go to Great Harvest for those free bread slices when I was in high school too! I wonder if that's a nationwide tradition amongst high schoolers. Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying it!

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  12. This recipe is fantastic and tastes just like Great Harvest! I'm not a seasoned breadmaker though and got a great big hole right through the middle of the loaf. It kind of caved in on itself when I went to slice it. What did I do wrong?

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    1. Hi Jill - Most of the time holes are caused by air-bubbles in the dough. I would try it again, but after you punch down the dough, I would knead it a few times on the counter to get rid of the air bubbles. I have also read that holes can be caused by too much yeast in the recipe or allowing the bread to rise in a place that is too warm. Hope that helps? - Jenn

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    2. Thanks Jenn, I'll definitely give it another try! :)

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    3. Turned out I just needed to knead it a bit more--like you said. I was delighted when my mom who has been baking bread for more than 30 years using the same recipe, asked me for MY recipe after tasting this bread. Thank you SO much!!

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    4. Oh that is awesome! - Jenn

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  13. YUM. I just made this and it is delicious. Just cut off the first piece and ate it with butter and honey.

    Very easy to make too! I used the bread machine to mix the dough for about 4 minutes, then just turned the machine off for the first raise. Took it out, punched it down and put it in the loaf pan. Baking time was perfect.

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    1. I am so glad you like it and I agree, it is super easy to make! - Jenn

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  14. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe! I just made this yesterday and it turned out wonderful, a lot less crumbly then other homemade bread. I have been searching for a good homemade bread recipe for a long time and this is the winner!

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    1. Glad you liked it! I just need to find a perfect white bread recipe now. -Jenn

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  15. I don't like whole wheat bread but all I had in the house was whole wheat flour and about a cup of A/P flour.

    I loved this bread! Loved it! A couple of comments...I prefer baking my bread by hand so I don't use my KitchenAid or my bread machine. I used 4 cups of the wheat flour and still the dough was extremely wet and sticky. I had on latex gloves as I always do when I'm kneading bread. I decided to add one more cup of flour but I made it A/P flour. It was still sticky but I hand-kneaded it and put it in the covered bowl to rise. It rose very quickly. I very easily (almost too easily) shaped it into a rectangle with the palm of my hands and then rolled it up starting at the short end. I placed it in a greased 10x5 (yes, 10x5) Norpro tin loaf plan. It made a beautiful quick half hour rise. Came out of the oven looking better than most of the loaves I bake. An online friend of mine who is an artisan baker said he thought looking at the recipe that the bread was going to be heavy. Well, maybe it's because I added almost a cup of white flour at the end or not, but the loaf was of medium weight, the crust and crumb was gorgeous. I let it cool down then couldn't help myself. I sliced off the end and slathered it with butter. Out.of.this.world. Hopefully, the bread will still be moist and delicious tomorrow. I am well pleased and you are a domestic bread goddess. Thank you for sharing this recipe. pat

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    1. I am so glad you liked it! You had to add a lot more flour than I usually do. One of the reasons why I like this so much is because it does stay moist and soft for several days, so hopefully yours will too. Do you have any good raspberry or cinnamon swirl bread recipes? - Jenn

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  16. Jenn, the reply button wasn't working for me. I do not have any raspberry or cinnamon swirl bread recipes but it's funny that you should ask because today is Day 4 and this bread remains moist and fresh (amazing). And as I was making my toast and buttering it today I thought, I bet I could just turn this exact recipe into a cinnamon swirl bread. Honest to goodness. One of my add ins was dried cranberries which is what got me to thinking about making this into a raisin bread. It would work.

    Wonder why I had to put so much flour into it. I'm on the East Coast in New Jerseey...maybe the humidity in the middle of winter had something to do with it.

    Mothercrone (a.k.a. Pat R)

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    1. I'm so glad you replied to me (not sure why the button wasn't working). That is a genius idea turning this bread into cinnamon swirl bread and I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm going to try it! Isn't it weird how the humidity can do that? I also live at high altitude, so that could have been part of it too. If you happen to try this as cinnamon swirl bread before I get a chance, be sure to come back and let me know! - Jenn

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  17. Hi Jenn :) I just came across this recipe, actually it was referred to me. I am very excited to try it out, however, I am scared of baking bread just as some of the others have said. I normally bake bread in my bread machine. Do you not think that the bread would turn out very well if I go that route? Also, I sometimes sub some spelt flour for about 1/3 of the total flour amount, do you think that would work? I also have buckwheat flour but I have not experimented with that yet. I am really needing to find a recipe that my family likes ASAP as they would just prefer I give up and buy them bread they like :( But it is so important to me that they eat healthier alternatives and homemade bread is so much cheaper! Needless to say, not everyone is on board with the lifestyle changes I've been making little by little for all of us...I'm not giving up tho, lol! Thanks for your help!
    Stefaniepotts@ymail.com

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    1. I prefer it when made using my hand mixer, but it will also work in the bread machine. I think the texture is slightly chewier when made in the bread machine. If you decide to use your bread machine, I would add all the ingredients and run the dough cycle. Once it is complete, then I would remove the dough, knead it once or twice and place it in a greased loaf pan and allow to rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Whenever I use my bread machine, I always use the dough cycle and then bake the bread in my regular oven. So much better that way.

      This bread is amazing and it tastes great for several days. I think you could convince your family that homemade is SO much better than store bought.

      I have never used spelt or buckwheat flour, so I have no idea how it would turn out.

      Try it, let me know what you and your family thinks!

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    2. Thanks Jenn! The main problem I have right now is the time required to make bread, even if I use the machine to mix it. I'm working over 60 hours/wk and am rarely home long enough to wait for mixing and rising and baking, as much as I wish I was :( I may hold off and try it once I have the time necessary to do it right. Thanks so much again for the response!

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  18. Hi, not sure if anyone will see this since it's an older post, but I thought I've tried! I made this recipe early this week and it's delicious!! I'm just wondering how/if the texture of whole wheat dough should be different than the texture of white dough. I just can't quite get a dough texture that I'm 100% happy with. I'm not sure if I'm adding too much flour or not enough! Thanks!

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    1. Wow. Should be "I thought I'd try." Yay for typos? :)

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    2. I do think the texture of wheat bread is a lot different than white bread. Wheat bread tends to be a lot heavier and this particular recipe is a little chewier. What kind of texture are you looking for?

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    3. The texture of the bread itself is great! I was more wondering about how sticky etc. the dough itself should be. I don't really have a lot of experience with making white bread dough, but I feel like I know what to expect there as far as when I've added enough flour. Should I expect the same kind of dough for the wheat? It seems like after the first rise the dough is really stringy (which a friend said is because of all the gluten). Is that how it should be?

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    4. You know what might help better than me? If you click on the "Find It Love It Share It" link above the recipe and under the title of the bread, it will take you to a site that has a step-by-step tutorial.

      I do add slightly more flour to mine, so it is not quite as sticky as hers shows after she is finished mixing. This recipe should be more sticky than your typical white bread recipe. I do spray my hands with cooking spray when I punch it down and press it into my loaf pan so it doesn't stick.

      I'm not sure what you mean by stringy? Is it just stretchy?

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  19. Made this twice and it is SO good! Perfect rise, great taste!

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  20. What size bread pan do you use? larger than 9x5?

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  21. Hi-
    Can I use active dry yeast?
    Thanks!

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    1. Yes you can since you dissolve it in warm water. Just make sure it gets bubbly and frothy before you add the other ingredients. - Jenn

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  22. Hey, thanks. Been looking for this. Need to try it in the bread machine.
    I've been taking my bread machine into work on Fridays for about 10 years now. Have a standard set of about 20 recipes that I make (including some gluten free). Nothing like smelling fresh bread at work, then having a team building meeting with fresh bread, real butter, and homemade jam at noon. I'm a popular guy (yes, guy) on Friday!

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    1. That is the BEST idea ever. My co-workers would love me if I did that for them.

      This bread is fabulous. I have tried it in the bread machine and it is not quite as good as when made using my stand mixer, but it is still good.

      Let me know what you think if you try it - Jenn

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  23. Hi! I am making this bread in my bread machine, and I noticed the yeast amount is 1 1/2 Tablespoons? Isn't that a lot?

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    1. Hi Christine - It does seem like a lot, but that really is how much you will need to add. It will give you a big and beautiful loaf of bread. - Jenn

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  24. Hi Jenn,

    My family and I love this bread! I've made it seveal times, and it works great everytime. I love that my son with dairy allergies can have it. My qeustion is can i turn this into rolls? I think the kids would love the rolls more. Thanks

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    1. That is a good question and it has never crossed my mind to make this into rolls. I think it is worth a try. If you end up trying it, let me know how it turns out.

      I am so glad you like it! - Jenn

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  25. Hi there, I am making this bread today... I love the honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest. I have a question... Is there anyone that would share how they shape the dough when they put it in the pan. Also, how do you know how much dough to put in the pan? Thanks so much

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    1. I just press the dough into the shape of a loaf and place it in the pan. You will use the entire amount of dough for one loaf.

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  26. Do you think it will turn out if made with White Whole Wheat?
    Thanks,
    Laura

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    1. Yes, I always use white whole wheat flour :)

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  27. This recipe is PERFECT! THANK YOU!! Made it this morning with the KitchenAid and baked in the oven. Have you ever frozen the dough and baked it later? I'd love to make this in big batches and keep unbaked loaves in the freezer.
    Thank a million!
    Sarah

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    1. I'm so glad you like it as much as I do. I have never tried freezing the dough. Have you frozen other bread dough? If you try it let me know if it works, I'd love to try it too. - Jenn

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  28. Thanks, this is a really great recipe. In response to person above, yes, you can freeze the dough. I recommend flash freezing it for an hour, preferably in a chest freezer (typically stays much colder than an upright) and then wrapping well with plastic wrap as well as placing in airtight freezer bag.

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    1. Good to know - thanks for your help!

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  29. Is instant yeast different than regular yeast?

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    1. Yes, it is different. Instant yeast does not need to be activated in warm water. Since this recipe adds the yeast to the water anyway, you could use regular yeast.

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  30. Have you tried doubling the recipe? Does it turn out well?

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    1. I haven't ever tried doubling it. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

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  31. Approximately how long will it take for the dough to rise each time? I am hoping to make this for dinner tonight & would like to know when I should make it so it will be fresh out of the oven in time for dinner?

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    1. Hi Kailey, it really depends on how warm your house is. I would say approx. 40-45 minutes each rise. Sometimes, I will preheat the oven to a low temperature, turn OFF the oven and place the loaf in there if I need it to rise faster. Let me know what you think if you end up trying it.

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  32. This bread turned out AMAZING!!! I don't think I will be buying store bought bread again!! :D

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  33. For those of you who have made this recipe. How sticky do you allow the dough to be when adding the flour? How much dough is normal to put in any size bread pan? Where do you rise the dough, in a prewarmed oven, just coved in the pan? Please share your method in shaping the dough to put in pan? And when you put the dough in pan does ot matter if the dough touches both ends of the pan, do you pull the dough up against one side, put it in the middle?

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  34. Jenn, THANK YOU! I absolutely love this bread from Great Harvest. I tried your recipe today and I'm thrilled! It is so soft and so flavorful. I'm sure this will be my go-to recipe for a long time. Thanks for working it out and sharing it with us! It is so exciting.

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    1. Yay!! I am so glad you liked it :)

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  35. Absolutely love this recipe! It's definitely a keeper!!! :)

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  36. I, like you, made wheat bread for years using my bread machine recipe, but the family tired of that version. (It's also too soft for sandwiches.). I've experimented with recipes but have yet to find one that mimics the texture of Great Harvest's bread. I use hard white wheat and grind my own flour. What type do you use? Do I need to use red wheat to get that bulkier texture? I going to use your recipe today and see how it works out. Thanks for posting it.

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    1. I use hard white wheat, but I purchase it already ground. I wish I had my own wheat grinder, but I don't - maybe someday :) Let me know how it works out for you and how much freshly ground flour you ended up adding. Thanks.

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    2. It turned out great! The closest to Great Harvest that I've made yet. I used 5-1/2 to 6 cups flour. Thanks again for the recipe; I'm making it again right now.

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    3. The texture might have been helped by the 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats I added.

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    4. Oh wow, so it really does take a lot more flour when using freshly ground. Thank you so much for letting me know and I am so glad you liked it!!!

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  37. I made this last night. Amazing!!!! Thank you! I made them into rolls. They were so moist, I was surprised. My family couldn't get enough.

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    1. Yum - rolls? I am totally going to try that.

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  38. Yum! Thanks for this sized down version- I made the one you adapted this from, and it was so much and this version of yours turned out just right. Now I can stop spending $5+ a loaf per week at Great Harvest and make my own!

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    1. I am glad it worked out!! I have a really good Copycat Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip Bread too, but it makes two loaves. Both are hard to resist.

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  39. I don't have a mixer, can I knead it with my hands and bake it in the oven ?

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  40. Hey, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!
    It was my first attempt at making bread+whole wheat+toaster oven yet it came out perfect!
    Thank you!!!!!

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  41. Hi Jenn,
    Thanks for the recipe! The bread taste amazing =) .......my only problem, it crumbled! I was only able to get 4 whole pieces. I will try again but any ideas why this would happen?
    ~Kimmy~

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    1. Oh no??? I would guess it had too much flour and it could have been possibly over baked. Try again and use a little less flour. Thanks!

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    2. Hi Jenn,
      Thanks for your help! I used less flour 3 1/2 cups of flour and it came out perfect =)
      Iwas wondering besides color, what's the difference between white wheat flour and regular wheat flour?
      Thanks for your help!.....as you can tell I'm a newbie to bread making.
      Thanks again!
      Kimmy

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    3. Oh good - I'm glad it turned out better this time. I don't know a lot about different types of wheat flour, but I always use hard white wheat flour.

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  42. I have a question regarding the amount of time you knead the bread. In your directions you say 4 minutes. Do you think it would hurt it or change anything if you kneading it longer? When I use my Bosch Mixer and make bread most of the time the directions say to knead for 8-10 minutes so was just curious regarding the short knead time of 4 minutes.

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    1. The longer you knead bread the more the gluten develops and makes the bread chewier. I recommend only kneading it for the four minutes for a soft and tender bread.

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  43. How would you double this recipe? I'm not experienced in bread making so I don't know if you just double each ingredient just seemed like it would be a lot of yeast. Oh and this bread is delicious.. Best I've ever made.. But would like to make more at a time lol

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    1. I'm sorry, but I don't have experience doubling bread recipes. I am usually cutting the ingredients in half and when I do that, I do cut the yeast in half. I looked online and I found mixed answers. Some said to double the yeast and some said to keep the amount of yeast the same, but to double everything else. Let me know what you end up doing, so I'll know for the future. Good luck - thanks :)

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    2. I kept the yeast the same but doubled everything else. Turned out perfect!

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    3. I'm so glad you let me know!!! And I am so glad it worked out. Thanks.

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  44. Does this recipe make one loaf of bread or two? I am new at baking bread. I was thinking just one, but at the end of the directions, it says "let cool in pans," pans with an "s", so wanted to double check. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out - I have fixed it and removed that "s". It only makes one loaf of bread.

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