Inspired by the Simple Whole Wheat Bread recipe, I worked and tweaked to get a 100% whole wheat bread that was still soft enough to use for sandwich bread. I finally got brave enough to try bread without my bread machine and I am finally getting it down. Yields 3 loaves so you will need 3 bread pans.
- 3 c. warm water (about 110*)
- 2 packages rapid rise yeast (you could use regular as well but I don't have as good of luck with rising with that)
- 2/3 c. honey (divided 1/3 and 1/3)
- 9-11 c. whole wheat flour (5c and 2c. and about 2c. more when kneading)
- 5 T. butter melted (divided 3T and 2T)
- 1 T. salt
1. In a big bowl mix 3 c. warm water, 2 packages of yeast, 1/3 c. of honey, and 5 c. sifted whole wheat flour. Mix until combined and then set aside for 30 minutes to rise. I like to place it in my microwave to help make sure there are no drafts.
2. Mix in 3 T. melted butter, 1 T. salt, 1/3 c. honey, and 2 c. sifted whole wheat flour. Heavily flour a surface to knead on. Knead dough adding more flour as needed until the dough is pulling away from the counter but is still somewhat sticky to touch. This will take approximately 2-4 more cups of flour. (picture is before I kneaded)
3. Divide dough into 3. Grease (I use butter) 3 bread pans and place dough in each. Turn dough over so that each sides picks up some of the grease. Let rise until the dough tops the edge of the pan. Once again- I place inside my microwave to rise. (Picture before 2nd rise).
4. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes. Brush tops with 2 T. melted butter to prevent tops from getting too hard. (I keep one loaf in the fridge at a time and freeze the extra loaves until I need them. They thaw wonderfully. Make sure and store in the fridge since there are no preservatives in the bread.)