As requested, below is the recipe for the bread I make once or twice a week. I have copied and pasted it from the original website (allrecipes.com) but naturally I have my own commentary, which I include parenthetically and in italics.
- 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) (for cripes sake, just make it HOT water. If you actually use a thermometer I will probably punch you).
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (I buy my yeast in a jar because it's a little less expensive, so I use 3 teaspoons. And as my Mama always says, "do NOT use Quickrise yeast)
- 1/3 cup honey (I never measure this any more. I eyeball it and therefore get a variety of sweetness from each batch. After you make the recipe a few times, save yourself one sticky measuring cup to measure and fake it).
- 5 cups bread flour (I only use 4 and replace one with ground flax seed or chia seeds. This gives the bread more texture and makes it healthier, too.)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted (When I thought I had this recipe memorized, I remembered it as 5 Tbs.... so now I use 4 as a compromise. Somewhere between 3 & 5 is fine).
- 1/3 cup honey (You're not really going to measure it, are you??)
- 1 tablespoon salt (I don't measure this either. I give small children 10 shakes from the salt shaker or I fill up the center of their palm with enough to make them think they are helping...)
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (This is TOTALLY a guess-timate. You'll use what makes it work!)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted (Bah! You just rub the stick of butter over the top to get a good coating. I have no idea how much it is, but I'm thinking it's way less than 2 Tbs.)
- In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. (The time on this is WAY up for grabs. I normally let it sit less than 30 minutes. Let it sit long enough to change the laundry around, make a snack and change a diaper or two. That should do it!)
- Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. (They say "stir in" but you should definitely use a mixer if you've got a good one). Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
- Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. (We use this bread primarily for sandwiches, so I suggest you err on the side of a "flatter" bread if that's what you want to use it for. That nice fluffy kind is delicious but doesn't hold onto peanut butter without falling apart).
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. (I ALWAYS over bake... setting my timer for 35 minutes). Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.