Fr. Keefer’s Whole Wheat Bread

This whole wheat honey bread has a history

This whole wheat honey bread has a history

This is a great, hearty bread that I make many times a year. It’s simple and has got to be good for you. And, it brings back fond memories of Dear Old U of D.

The clock tower at the University of Detroit Mercy

The clock tower at the University of Detroit Mercy

Many years ago, Fr. Kiefer, S.J. (correct spelling) made loaves of this bread for the 11 p.m. Sunday evening mass at the University of Detroit Mercy student lounge. We students called it the “C & D mass” because we always had coffee and donuts afterward, before heading back to the dorms at midnight to begin homework and studying.

Anyway—remember, this was in the dark ages before everyone used hand sanitizer—during communion we’d just tear off a hunk and pass the loaf around. Miraculously, we survived. Must have been the prayers.

A college chum who is now, sadly, deceased, jotted down the recipe (below); you can see how well-worn it is.

It really is easy to make, but here are some notes to clarify a few things:

Dissolve the yeast (I use 4 Tbsp) in ONE cup of warm (not hot) water with one teaspoon of sugar or brown sugar added; once the yeast “proofs” or gets all bubbly, stir it into the other ingredients and then add the remaining 2 cups of lukewarm or cool water.

I use butter or canola oil instead of margarine or corn oil.

After stirring all ingredients, knead the dough about 5 minutes and place it in a large, buttered bowl. Cover with dish towel and place in warm area (like the oven with the oven light on) to rise. Punch it down and let it rise again.

Place the dough on a floured countertop and form into 2 loaves; let them rise the third time.

Then bake.

My loaves don’t look especially pretty, but the bread is delish.


All photos and stories copyright Kath Usitalo unless otherwise noted