I LOVE bread day, as long as everyone else co-operates. Sometimes it is a bit of a miracle of timing, or a dance the kids and I do to hope for a successful outcome. It's really weird for me to like a day that is based on needing to get things done in an order and with specific timing, but long story short, it smells really good :)
A couple years ago I couldn't find whole wheat flour in any of my normal grocery stops. How in the heck could an entire town be out of whole wheat flour??? So I stumbled into a grocery store that isn't on my normal hit list. Low and behold they had one bag of Rogers whole wheat flour on the shelf http://www.rogersfoods.com/pro_flour.htm. I grabbed it as though it were made of solid gold and headed to the till.
I didn't realize until a few batches of bread later that there was a recipe on the back of the bag. I decided to give it a go and have never made any other kind of whole wheat bread since. It's works so so so well.
Now I make my bread with the sponge method of bread baking. I've never done it any other way and I find it really simple...so here goes my attempt to describe that.
First let me sing the praises of my bread bucket. I am not sure I would make bread very often without this bucket, and I have no idea where to get them...real helpful hey?
Whole wheat bread
mix in a large bowl...or for me it's my bread bucket.
4 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
mix well and let stand while you
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
whisk with a fork and microwave for 15 seconds 3 times (a total of 45 seconds) whisk well with a fork in between 15 second intervals so your eggs don't cook.
at this point your mixture in the bread bucket should be starting to raise and bubble, if not, give it a couple minutes. It's forming a sponge...hence the name of the method.
When this is the case, the bubbling that is add the egg mixture to the bucket or bowl as well as,
7-8 more cups of whole wheat flour
4 tsp salt
Mix well and let raise in a warmish draft free area for 15-20 minutes kneading in between.
When that process is complete form dough into 4 loaves and put into 4 greased bread pans.
Puncture loaves several times with a fork, right to the bottom of the loaf (this helps get more air out so you don't have big air pockets in your bread)
Cover and let raise for 50-55 minutes...or until it looks loaf-ish