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I combined ideas from different recipes and refined this one over time. It's easy and relatively quick (as quick as yeast bread can be).
Prep Time: 01:30
Cook Time: 00:40
4 cups warm (not hot) water
1/4 cup yeast
1/2 cup honey (can use sugar instead)
4 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups unground wheat
4 cups white flour
1/2 cup gluten (optional)
1 1/2 cup powdered milk (optional)
1 cup cracked wheat or instant rolled oats (optional)
1Grind wheat into flour. Use the finest setting possible. This should produce about 6 to 6 1/2 cups of flour. Works best if you grind it fresh just before making the bread.
2Mix all ingredients except for white flour in a large mixer and mix for 3 to 5 minutes.
3Add white flour and kneed for at least 10 minutes. You may need to use a little extra white flour if you don't include gluten or cracked wheat/oats. Dough should ball up nicely but still be a little sticky to handle. If you add too much flour, bread will be a little less moist. Not enough, and it will be impossible to handle.
4Cover with a towel and let rise 20 - 30 minutes. Punch down and kneed for 2 or 3 minutes. Cover and let rise again for 20 - 30 minutes. Punch down and divide into four balls.
5Kneed each ball using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to hands, shape, and place into medium sized, greased bread pan. Cover and let rise until top of loaf is about 1/2 inch above the top of the pan (about 20 minutes). Bread will rise a little more as it cooks.
6Bake on a center rack at 350 for about 40 minutes. If the crust is getting too dark for your taste, turn off oven for the last 5 to 10 minutes.
7Let bread cool completely before bagging or for an unparalleled treat, cut or tear thick slices off of a loaf right out of the oven and serve immediately with a little jam, butter and/or honey. Since no preservatives are used, bread should be refrigerated (preferable) or frozen unless used within two or three days.
If you have holes inside your bread or if the tiny air pockets that naturally occur in the bread are a little too large for your liking, kneed the bread a little longer and stronger especially the last time.
The optional gluten gives the bread a softer texture. The optional powdered milk adds nutrients and gives the bread a fuller texture. The optional cracked wheat or oats give the bread a chewier, nut-like texture.
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