Whole Wheat and Honey Bread

Makes 5 loaves

16-20 cups whole wheat flour

6 c warm water

3 TB instant yeast

1.5-2 TBSP salt

2/3 cup honey

2/3 cup oil

1 cup ground flaxseed* see note

opt: 3 TBSP of dough enhancer or vital wheat gluten

Combine the water, yeast and 8 cups of flour in mixer bowl and allow to sponge for 20 minutes.  (this can be skipped but it does help texture a little bit)

Add the salt, oil, honey, flaxseed and 8-12 cups of flour until dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl.  Dough should be smooth and elastic, don’t add so much flour that it gets stiff (dry).

Knead 6-10 minutes by machine (will take longer by hand) until dough is very elastic and you can stretch it without tearing.

Form into 5 loaves and place into greased bread pans to rise on counter or slightly warm oven.  Rise to double in size, 30-60 minutes.   Bread should slightly hold finger imprint and have a little spring to it.  If bread springs right back when poked it isn’t proofed enough.  If the bread “sighs” when poked with a finger it is over risen- best to reshape and allow it to rise again.  An extra rising will only improve flavor.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes till top and sides are golden brown.  You can always ensure bread is finished by sticking an instant thermometer into the bottom- most breads are done at 190 degrees.  Rich doughs with eggs and butter may need to bake to 200 to be done.

We often bake 3 loaves and make the rest into 2 dozen cinnamon rolls.  Or you can make 2 pizzas for dinner while getting bread baked.  Very versatile recipe- a multi-tasker’s dream dough

*I grind flaxseed in the blender in quantity and keep in a ziplock in the freezer for easy usage (that way laziness doesn’t get the best of me).  A coffee grinder also works well.

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