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A whole wheat bread recipe that delivers consistent results. The dough can be mixed by hand, a stand mixer, or a bread machine. This makes one very large loaf, or two small loaves.
To prepare the dough:
Combine all of the ingredients, and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then knead till smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then knead by machine until fairly smooth, about 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
(Bread Machine Method)
Place all ingredients in bread machine pan and set to the dough cycle.
To shape the loaves:
After the dough has risen, gently deflate the dough, shape it into a log, and place it in a lightly greased large (9×5 inch) bread pan or two small bread pans. Cover the pan with a towel or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, till it’s crowned about 2 inches over the rim of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F about halfway through the rising time.
To bake the loaves:
If desired, brush the top of the loaf with milk or egg white and sprinkle with oatmeal, poppy seeds, nuts, etc. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until it turns a deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.