Directly from America's Test Kitchen All Time Best Bread Recipes

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) toasted wheat germ
3 TB sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 (plus 1) TB unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 400°. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flours, wheat germ, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda together in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add buttermilk mixture to flour and stir with spatula until dough comes together.

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead until cohesive mass forms - about eight turns. Pat dough into 7 inch round and transfer to prepared sheet. Using sharp serrated knife cut 1/4" deep cross, about 5 inches long, into top of loaf. Bake until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean and loaf registers 195 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway.

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Remove from oven. Brush with remaining 1 TB butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour befoe serving.

Notes and Tips...

  • Toasted Wheat Germ -  recipe claims that this is key to the desired flavour, but wheat germ can be substituted with wheat bran or ground flax-seed, or even whole wheat flour.
  • Spatula - works best if it is a firm, not soft, pliable, spatula
  • Buttermilk - if the dough does not quite come together, add a bit more buttermilk - carefully, 1 TB at a time.
  • Kneading - it may take more than 8 turns - but do not over-knead.
  • Cross Cut - I made mine a bit too deep - does not affect flavour ;-)
  • Done - my old recipe said to bake for 40 minutes until loaf sounded hollow when tapped; the ATK recipe suggested a longer time to an internal temperature of 195. I pulled mine out at 50 minutes even though the temp was only 185 - top was just beginning to burn - eek.

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