Many thanks to my friend Cheree for this delicious whole wheat bread recipe. I like making bread. I've made sweet breads many times, and I've already posted a fabulous recipe for dill bread on this site that has long been a family favorite. But I've never tried making simple whole wheat bread before. To be honest, I was probably just a little intimidated. I shouldn't have been. This recipe is as easy as can be. It takes a bit of time because you raise the dough three times, but you can go off and do other things while that is happening. In any case, the end result is light and delicious. I'll definitely be making this again.
3 tablespoons yeast
4 cups warm water
4 cups whole wheat flour
Mix these ingredients together and let sit until doubled in size (usually 15-30 minutes). This step is called creating a sponge and is very important to give the yeast a head start.
1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey or molasses
3 teaspoons salt
6-8 cups whole wheat flour
Mix this together and knead for 15-20 minutes if kneading by hand (using a Kitchen Aid requires much less time). Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise again until double in size (about 30 minutes). Punch down and then shape into pans. Cover and let rise again until doubled (20-30 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Recipe makes four loaves.
*Variation: add one cup cooked cereal to the mixture when adding the butter, honey, and other ingredients.