Have you ever left a loaf of store bought bread to sit on the counter and see how long it takes before it goes bad? I haven’t done it on purpose, but after “losing” a loaf when the kids helped me put away groceries and I found it over a month later with no mold, I decided it was time to do something! Now, I part of our Sundays baking the bread for the week. It’s not as time consuming as it sounds, we’re paying about the same per loaf as we would for the cheapest bread in the store and the family loves it!
3 cups warm (110 degrees) water
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter
1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour.
3. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until the dough is just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. Depending on the loaf, humidity in the home, etc, this will take 2-4 cups of flour.
4. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
5. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely