On Sunday night, two weeks ago, my husband wanted to make bread. Ever since he gave me my Bosch he wants to make bread with me all the time. I absolutely love it! It's so fun to be in the kitchen with him. We have made a few different types of bread now and I wanted to try something with wheat. We found this great recipe at Adventures in Bowersland. This recipe makes two large delicious loaves of bread. When we were baking these loaves we had to move the shelf down in the oven because they were touching the top when we checked on them.The great thing about wheat is it is very filling. One piece of toast and you feel full.
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour or bread flour
4 cups luke-warm water (115 degrees F)
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp butter
Mix together 1 cup warm water with the honey and the yeast. Set it aside for about 10 minutes to activate. When the yeast mixture looks all bubbly, you know it is ready. In a large mixing bowl mix the yeast mixture with the other 3 cups of warm water and 4 cups of white or bread flour. Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour and continue mixing. Stir until the lumps are all out and cover with a damp towel. Set it aside for 30 minutes. The dough will rise slightly.
While you wait melt the butter and set it aside. You want the butter to be cool before you add it to the mixture so it doesn't kill the yeast. Add the butter and salt to the mixture as well as the last 3 cups of whole wheat flour adding just a little at a time. Once you've mixed in all of the flour, roll the dough out onto a well floured surface or turn on med/high if mixing in your KitchenAid or Bosch. When the dough pulls off the side of the bowl you know it is ready. I ended up having to add about 2 cups more flour to get the dough the right consistency. You want to make sure it's not too sticky but you don't want to add too much flour or it will end up really dense. If kneading by hand, knead on a floured counter top for 10-15 minutes adding more flour as needed until it no longer sticks to the counter top. Once you are done kneading it, place some olive oil in a large mixing bowl and put the dough back into the bowl. Put a dash of olive oil on top of the dough and turn it a few times to cover it in oil. Place a damp towel over the bowl and let it rise for about an hour or until it is double in size.
Once it has risen, you can punch the center of the dough ball to get out all of the air bubbles. Cut the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out either on the counter top or in your hands to get the rest of the air bubbles out. Then, shape your dough balls into loaves. Place the dough balls into two greased bread pans. Cover the bread pans with a damp towel again and let it rise for 30-45 minutes. This is the last time, I promise!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while the dough is rising in the loaf pans. The dough should almost double in size. Bake for about 40 minutes or longer if you want a darker crust.
When the bread comes out of the oven, place the loaves on a cooling rack. I like to put mine on the side and then the cooling rack makes lines in the bread and they make perfect slices if you cut along them.
On a side note, the day after we baked this bread my water broke and our little baby decided that it was time to come. He came 4 weeks early. When we got home from the hospital 4 days later everything in our fridge was old and spoiled so this bread was awesome to have. We had amazing friends and family who helped us out with meals, cleaning, diapers, premie clothing, etc. I can't thank them enough! We love this new little bundle of joy!