One day on "Pinterest" (a great source), I found this bread recipe where she claimed it was wonderful and stayed soft for days after. I thought I'd give it a try.
The trick for me when baking bread, is getting the right amount of flour. King Arthur Flour recommends the best way to measure flour is to weigh it. Their recommendation is 1 c. flour = 4 oz. If you measure the flour, there is no more guess work ... just weight and let the scale tell you when that's enough flour. It's been successful every time.
If you grind your own flour, 4 1/4 c. wheat kernels in my Nutrimill Wheat Grinder was the right amount.
Adding 1 Tbsp. of Dough Enhancer will help homemade wheat breads texture lighter and softer. A lot of stores are now carrying Vital Wheat Gluten and Dough Enhancer, which is nice.
I LOVE the USA loaf pans!! Bread cooks evenly and comes out without any problems.
When you put the dough into the bread pans, squish the dough softly into the corners of your bread loaf pans. This will make your bread cook more evenly and give you a perfect shaped loaf.
With these few changes, I have finally found a bread recipe that is "Easy" and "Perfect Every Time"!!
THE Whole Wheat Bread
3-1/2 c. (15.75oz) whole wheat flour (4-1/4 c. wheat kernels ground)
1/3 c. wheat gluten
1-1/4 tbs instant yeast
1 tbs dough enhancer
2-1/2 c. hot water (120-130°)
1 tbs salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey
1-1/4 tbs lemon juice
2-1/2 c. (12oz) whole wheat flour
Mix together the 15.75 oz. of WW flour, wheat gluten, yeast, and dough enhancer in your mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add oil, honey, and lemon juice and 12 oz. flour. Let this start mixing a little then add the salt. Knead for about 8 minutes (for a Bosch mixer, I use #1 setting) until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.
Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turning the oven light on will also add some warmth. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves place in sprayed bread pans. Press dough flat into the pans. Let rise in warm oven for 20-30 minutes until dough rises about 1" above the top of the pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks. This recipe makes 2 loaves.
Raspberry Honey Butter or Cinnamon Honey Butter, and one to eat later.