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Mix up the following ingredients in a plastic bowl (or just mix up in your Bosch or heavy duty mixer), cover, and let it sit out on the counter for 12-24 hours:
- 9 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 cups (1 quart) buttermilk (or you could use 4 cups water & 4 tablespoons whey or lemon juice)(You can use homemade buttermilk or store-bought)
- 1 cup filtered water
After the above ingredients have soaked for 12-24 hours, transfer the dough to your Bosch or heavy duty mixer.
In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, mix up the following to “sponge” the yeast. Let sit for a few minutes while you add the rest of the ingredients to the mixer:
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Add the following ingredients into the Bosch mixer in the following order and mix:
- 1/2 cup olive oil or butter, melted
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, heaping
- Yeast mixture (above)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
Start the mixer and immediately add in another 1 cup of flour. Keep adding flour until dough doesn’t stick to sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for about 7-8 minutes.
1st Rise: Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Once the dough is in the bowl, flip it over so that the top of the dough gets greased. Cover bowl with a dishtowel. Place bowl in warm place to raise until double (about 1 hour)
2nd Rise: Punch dough down, flip over, cover, and let raise until double again (about 30-45 minutes).
3rd Rise: Punch dough down and remove from bowl to a greased countertop. Knead a few times, then cut dough into 5 lumps. Shape loaves and place in buttered bread pans. Cover pans with dishtowels and place them in a warm place to raise one more time – until double (about 30 minutes).
Turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes or until bread is browned on all sides.
Yield: Makes 5 loaves
Tips: I like to use the oven as a place to let my bread rise. I usually turn the oven on for a few minutes and then turn it off. This is just enough to get the oven warm. I turn the oven light on too. I set the bowl, covered, in the oven for the 1st and 2nd rise, then put the bread pans in the oven, covered, for the 3rd rise. It works great! Also, the rising times may vary depending on how warm your oven is, how warm the dough is, etc.
Note from Sheri: I love how this recipe turned out. I am so excited that I was able to use 100% whole wheat – NO white flour at all! The bread still turned out really nice and soft. I freeze my bread when I make larges batches like this, and the bread is still soft after being frozen and thawed! If you do not want to use all whole wheat flour and want to use a combination of both, you can use white flour as well. Just be sure to use the unbleached white flour, and use the same amounts as listed in the recipe.