I often get requests for my bread recipe. I was just getting ready to share it again and realized that I make it differently than the recipe I have written down. (I honestly have not looked at the recipe for years and just walk in the kitchen and make bread when we need it.)
6 Cups Hot Water(from tap)
2/3 C Oil (I use Canola)
2/3 C Honey
6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Yeast
6 Cups White Flour
1 Tbsp Salt
I combine 6 Cups hot water, the oil, honey, and whole wheat flour. Then I add the yeast and combine thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes(it should bubble) to make sure the yeast is happy. I then add the salt and the white flour. Here is where you may want to add more flour if the dough looks like it needs it. Don't be afraid of a wet dough though. I combine mine in a mixer, but if you are doing it by hand you will have to knead the dough and then let it sit for half an hour. I 'knead' mine in my mixer and let it sit for 15 minutes, 'knead' it again and let it sit for another 15 minutes. If I let it sit the whole 30 minutes in my mixer it rises so much it can be a mess.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead into a ball and divide into 6 loaves. Knead each loaf 40 times or so and place each ball in bread pans sprayed with Pam. Let rise 30 minutes covered with a clean dish towel, or saran wrap. I like to use a dish towel, it doesn't stick to the sides of the pans and hold the down down from rising. Also a little more eco friendly. I like to make sure the 'dome' of the bread has risen just above the sides of the pan before I bake them so if it hasn't risen that much let it rise another 10 minutes or so. Usually 30 minutes is plenty of time. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 27 minutes, the tops of the loaves should be a lovely golden color. Pull out of oven and gently turn loaves out onto cooling racks. Slice and enjoy!
Some dos and don'ts: Don't add the salt too early, it inhibits the yeast from growing. Bread is very forgiving, so don't be afraid of substitutions. You can replace the honey with brown sugar, or even white, but I would use brown. You can add a couple of eggs (at the time you add the salt) to up the protein. I have even used butter flavor Crisco for my oil. With any of these substitutions the bread has turned out great.