Growing up in the South, we had a lot of traditions. An abundance. But one of my favorite traditions was special to our little family. After church on Sundays we would stop by Publix and pick up some oven roasted turkey and white mountain bread to make sandwiches.
[Publix makes whole wheat white mountain bread now. Man, I love Publix.]
So if you’re switching to a real food diet it might not take you long to realize buying bread at the store is a bit of a challenge. Add that to the list of questions we get about our diet, “What do you do about bread?!” So this bread is our solution. A welcome solution considering we call Lucy a carbivore. Here’s a recipe I adapted from a message board recipe I found years [and years] ago.
Mountain Bread [with vegan adaptations]
Makes 1 loaf
3/8 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
a pinch of sugar
3/4 cup warm milk [almond milk]
1 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter [earth balance vegan spread]
1 1/2 tablespoons honey [agave]
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour (all purpose, white wheat, spelt, or high protein gluten free)*
1/2 tablespoon salt
[If you want your bread to be light and airy make sure you’re measuring the flour by scooping it into the measuring cup with a spoon.]
Start off by mixing the warm water [about 100F, but I don’t usually use a thermometer], yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
While this is resting, heat up the milk and butter. After the starter has rested, add the milk and butter, honey, flour, and salt. Mix until blended and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
Punch down the dough and let it rest for 30 more minutes. After 30 minutes transfer the dough to a baking mat or parchment. It is a loose dough but let it rise for another 45 minutes. Now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 375F.
About 20 minutes into the last rise you might realize the dough is spreading too much. I like to pull the sides of the bread back to the top and make it look a bit more like the mountain it was named for [whip it into shape]. You can see where the bread was before I pulled the sides up.
After the final rest, bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. I transfer it to and from the oven with a pizza peel. You should be able to knock on the bread and hear a soft hollow sound when it’s done.
Sometimes if we’re feeling crazy we make up some honey butter to eat with it. So good! I love this bread most because it’s totally acceptable for sandwiches. It’s soft on the inside without a lot of crumb. Yum.
*During the summer I use closer to 3 cups but during the winter I use closer to 2 1/2. If you’re making this bread for the first time be aware that you may not use all of the flour. Only add as much flour as you need to make it kneadable.