Sorry for not sharing the recipe in my previous post. Like I said before, it's a recipe that has taken some time to perfect--not because the recipe needs perfecting, but my bread-making skills need perfecting. The lady who gave me the recipe invited me to her house one day so I could watch how to do it. Things have to be just right or it won't work out. And even though I've been making this for months now, I haven't got quite as big of loaves as she does, although I'm thinking it might due to the fact that I half the recipe. Not sure.
Thanks Peg for the recipe and tutorial!
Ingredients and directions:
2 Tbsp. instant yeast
4 cups very warm water
a drizzle of honey
mix these together in a bosch or kitchenaid. let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes, or until bubbly. (this is one of the tricks--if it isn't bubbly, throw it out. Either your yeast is old or your water wasn't warm enough. Don't waste your time any further, just start over).
in the meantime, grind the whole wheat flour. (if you don't have a grinder, use wheat from a bakery store or as fresh as you can get)
add to the bowl of yeast,
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil (canola oil)
1 1/2 Tbsp. dough enhancer
1 Tbsp. salt
mix around. then add about 9 cups whole wheat flour (this is another trick. you should start with about 5 cups of flour and proceed from there. you want to watch it jog around in your bowl until the sides come clean. don't be in a hurry. after your 5 cups, add more and then wait. add a little more if the sides aren't clean and continue that way. it seems to me that it takes a little time to thicken up after you add the flour, so don't be in a hurry.) too much flour won't help you end up with a soft loaf of bread. knead for 10 minutes. you don't want it sticky.
form into loaves. divide into 4ths. the dough should feel soft as a baby's bum, yet easy to handle. grease your hands and form into loaves and put into greased bread pans (preferably about 8 1/2 by 4 1/2) let raise until it looks like a loaf of bread-about 30 minutes. make sure you cover the loaves with about 3 layers of paper towels while rising. the size won't change much when you bake it, so make sure it is big enough before you bake it.
once it has raised, put in a cold oven. turn to 350. bake for 26-30 minutes, depending on your oven. invert onto cooling racks and butter tops of loaves.
*if using a smaller kitchenaid, half the recipe. i get two loaves.
*fresh whole wheat flour can stay in the freezer for 3 weeks without losing nutritional value
*store in food and bread gallon size bags
*this is the best, soft whole wheat bread I've had. it is yummy for toast, but also good for sandwiches after it has cooled.
let me know if you have any questions. i tried to explain it as best as I could.