Making whole wheat bread is really fun, but can also be frustrating. To go to all the trouble of making bread, and to find your loaves short, and dense is so disappointing. So I have an answer to that problem!
Salt really hinders the yeast. So, the salt needs to be added as late in the game as possible. I knead my bread for 10 minutes. At minute 8, I add my salt. I let it continue to knead for another 2 minutes, then let it rise.
I have explained, step by step, how I make my bread. I offer a few other tips that help too, regardless of the recipe you decide to use.
I start with 3 cups of warm water, and add 2 Tbsp. yeast. Then to that I’ll add the 1/4 c. gluten, 1/2 c. honey, and 1/4 c. oil. From three I just grab a whisk and stir it up. I try to get everything off of the bottom so I can pour it into my mixing bowl.
Once I pour the water mixture into the bowl I go ahead and put in 6 cups of flour. I use a bosch mixer, but any type of mixer would work. Just put the dough hook on, and turn it on to low. I kneaded this bread by hand for the first couple of years too. It makes me appreciate my mixer so much more!
I divide this batch into 3 loaves. When I take the saran wrap off of the bowl, I flip it over and put it over my scale so the greasy side if facing up. You don’t need to weigh each loaf, but it does help keep your loaves consistant. I use 9 x 13 inch bread pans.
I spray even more non-stick spray into the loaf pans, and set them somewhere warm to rise. For the longest time I’d put my loaves into the cold oven, then then turn it on to cook.
*But I’ve recently found that it is better to put them in a preheated oven. That heat gives the yeast one last burst of energy to rise up even higher!
3 c warm water
2 Tbsp. Instant yeast
1/4 c gluten
1/4 c oil
1/2 c honey
6 1/2-7 c whole wheat flour
1-2 Tbsp. salt (to taste)
Start with warm water and yeast, then add the gluten, oil, and honey. Stir together and put into the mixing bowl. Start with about 6 cups of flour, then slowly add more until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Let it knead for 8 minutes, add the salt, then knead for 2 more minutes.
Spray bowl, add dough. Let it raise for an hour or so. Then spray the counter, and divide the dough into 3 even loaves. Put the loaves into 9 x 13 bread pans and let raise again.
Once the bread is about an inch or so above the loaf pans, preheat the oven. When it’s ready, cook on 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Butter the top if you want when it comes out.