Martha in Indiana's Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Dissolve the honey and yeast in the water in a large crockery bowl.
Pray for 5 minutes while the yeast "activates", becoming foamy.
Stir in 3 c. W.W. Flour, stir for 5 minutes to develop gluten.
Add 1/3 c. Honey, 4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 c. Applesauce and stir for another 5 minutes.
Add flour (6-7 cups) till a stiff dough is formed.
Turn out on floured board and knead until elastic and smooth. A good test to see if it is kneaded enough is to pick up the dough and then drop it, it shouldn't stick to your hand.
Place dough in a greased crockery bowl and place in a slightly warmed oven into which you have put a pan/bowl of warm water. Dough rises much better in a warm (not hot!), moist, environment. Let rise for 40 minutes or till it doubles in volume.
Punch down and divide/shape into 4 loaves. Place in pans and let rise for 40 - 60 minutes in a warm/moist oven. Remove from oven and preheat to 350 degrees, bake for 40 minutes or until it sounds "hollow" when loaf is thumped. After turning out to cool, I baste the tops of the loaves with butter.
I've used this simple recipe for whole wheat bread for almost 30 years. It always turns out well. I have ground my own flour using hard red winter wheat and used it in the recipe as well as store bought whole wheat flour, both work equally well.
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