"Nothing is more certain than bread." - Dostoevsky
Use a heavy-duty mixer like a Bosch or
Kitchen Aid to make this 4-loaf batch. See the Whole Wheat Bread By Hand recipe if you don't have a serious mixer (it's still worth it).
Four Loaf Batch
7 cups warm water (about 110º)
1/4 cup instant yeast (SAF or RedStar)
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
- - - - - - - - - -
12 cups whole wheat flour (or a mix of whole wheat and white)
In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine the water, yeast, honey,
salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Stir until incorporated then let the
sponge proof 5-7 minutes or until frothy-bubbly.
Add 6 cups flour and and mix until almost incorporated. NOTE: To keep
the flour from flying out of the mixing bowl, use the lid OR turn your
mixer on and off quickly at first to get quick, short rotations.
With the mixer on slow speed, slowly add another 6 cups of flour (and
possibly more), one at a time until the dough starts to pull away from
the sides of the mixing bowl. Mix/knead for 5-7 minutes to make a moist,
thick, soft, elastic, and rather sticky dough. NOTE: mix/knead for an
additional minute or two if using part white flour.
Remove the dough hook, scraping off the clinging dough, and cover bowl
with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough
has doubled in volume, about 20 - 40 minutes.
oven to 375º. Liberally grease four 8.5" x 4" loaf pans. Turn dough
out on a lightly floured surface and cut into four equal pieces with a bench knife
or large knife. Gently knead about ten times and shape dough into loaf
shapes and place in pans. NOTE: For a more rustic look, gently rub the tops of the loaves with flour before putting them in the pans. Let loaves rise until almost doubled in volume,
about 15-30 minutes, or until the sides of the loaf are 1/4" from the
rim of the pan.
6. Score the tops on an angle with a
sharp serrated knife. NOTE: To avoid deflating the risen loaves, use a
fairly quick motion when doing this. Bake for 38-40 minutes. Transfer
the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire rack to cool. Cool
completely (about 3 hours) before wrapping in plastic bags.
can add sunflower, flax, millet and a variety of other seeds, raisins,
cinnamon, cinnamon chips, dried fruit, nuts, cheese, etc. to make different kinds of bread. For an entire batch, add
these ingredients at the end of step three. Or for one or two loaves, add these ingredients during the second kneading (by hand). You can also do a mix of whole wheat and white flours to make a light wheat or white batch.