3 cups warm water (if you use your mixer, remember that your metal bowl will be VERY cold, so the water should be quite warm.)
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup honey OR sugar (I've used both as well as a combo. The honey flavor is incredible, but it is more expensive that way.)
Once you are sure your yeast is working (5 minutes or so) add 5 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix well and let it rise for about 30 minutes. This is called a sponge.
3 Tablespoons oil or melted butter
1/3 cup honey OR sugar
1 tsp salt
4-5 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (also called wheat gluten flour or a dough conditioner. DON'T skip this ingredient. It will change your life when cooking with whole wheat. It also adds a bunch of protein in your bread.)
2-3 cups more flour (white or wheat) until the dough firms up.
Knead until smooth and firm (I let my KitchenAid do this too. Two words: dough hook). Let rise until double. Punch, divide (two huge or three mediumish), form and let rise until double (another 30 minutes) Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes for medium, 30 minutes for huge.
If anybody is interested in the spicy cilantro chimichurri I made for the steaks last weekend, let me know. (If you haven't discovered this new favorite condiment yet, let's just call it the discerning person's answer to steak sauce.) This weekend I am going to put it on hamburgers with a big slab of roasted red pepper, a whole wheat bun, mixed greens from our garden and imported white Australian cheddar. I think I'll do sweet potato fries on the side. I keep telling Plantboy that he is a food snob, but lately I've started to think that it might be me.