One of my weaknesses in life is bread. I just seriously love carbs . . . and is there any better smell in the world than freshly made bread?!
I used to be scared of making bread, but I have learned that practice makes perfect and I can whip out a couple of loaves in no time at all! I love that this recipe is not only delicious, but also healthy. When I first started making whole wheat bread, it was hard for my kids to get used to, so I did half whole wheat flour and half white flour then slowly added more wheat flour each time I made it. They now prefer wheat bread to white bread, so I am counting it as a mom win!
I use a Bosch mixer to make my bread, but I have made it a couple of time without a mixer (just mixing by hand) and it still turned out delicious (plus you burn some serious calories doing it by hand!).
10-11 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground if possible)
In a large bowl, add water, yeast, honey and salt. Let it rest for 5 minutes (or until the yeast foams).
Add in flour 1 cup at a time, kneading it between each cup of flour added if you are making it by hand. If you are making it with a mixer (like a Bosch or Kitchen Aid), use a paddle attachment and just let it mix while you add the flour.
Knead bread for about 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add only enough flour so that the dough barely pulls away from the bowl. Every time I make bread, the amount of flour I use varies - humidity and elevation will make a big difference too. I usually use between 10-11 cups.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees; turn the oven off, and let dough rise inside the oven for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove bowl from oven. Spray the back of your hand with cooking spray and punch down the dough. Form into a log and cut in half, forming two larger-sized loaves. Put into 2 greased loaf pans.
Again, preheat oven (if it?s not warm anymore) to 170 degrees and let the dough in the pans rise in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove dough from oven and set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once oven is pre-heated, place the loaves back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from pans immediately and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
*You don't want the water to be TOO hot, or it will kill the yeast. I would say that it's maybe around 110 degrees. My rule of thumb is as warm as you can stand to wash your face in.