I don't know about you, but the bread at the grocery store these days just isn't cutting it for us. (And at $5 - 6 a loaf, Great Harvest or anything else comparable to what I can make at home isn't really a viable alternative...) I love real, hearty bread, and I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.
Below is our favorite recipe for bread. I use either my KitchenAid mixer or breadmaker.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
2 1/4 c. warm water
10 Tbsp. honey (I eyeball it... give that honey bear ten good squeezes)
1 Tbsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. salt
6 c. whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
6 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten
In a large bowl, combine flour, gluten and powdered milk. Set aside.
In your mixing bowl, dissolve honey in warm water and add yeast. Let proof for 10 minutes or so, or until the mixture looks frothy and/or creamy. Stir in oil, then salt.
Stir in flour mixture 1 c. at a time. (At first, I incorporate it with a sturdy spatula, but when that gets tiresome I bring out the dough hook.) If your machine can handle it, use the dough hook to knead the dough for a couple of minutes. I don't use my machine because the motor gets overworked. If you're like me, turn out the dough on a lightly-floured surface and knead by hand.
Coat a large bowl with oil. Place your dough inside, turning to coat, and cover with a damp cloth. Let sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until dough has doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and knead a bit more. Divide in two and shape into loaves. Place in mell-greased loaf pans, and let rise again until the loaves come above the lip of the pan an inch or so. (This will take about a half an hour, depending on the warmth of the room you're in.)
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. (Slip the loaves out of the pan and tap lightly on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done.) Remove from pans immediately and let cool on wire racks.
*If you're using a breadmaker, cut this recipe in half. Place all ingredients in your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and start. We use the whole wheat, 1.5 loaf size, light crust settings and it comes out perfect every time.