If your family is accustomed to whole wheat in their diets and you have had success with my 1/2 & 1/2 wheat bread recipe, it would be a good time to switch over!
The major difference between this recipe and my 1/2 & 1/2 is that the sponging process is 30 minutes long and the kneading time is 7-10 minutes long.
Sponging your wheat flour will soften the bran, resulting in a much lighter loaf of bread. Kneading your dough longer will develop more gluten, also ensuring a lighter loaf and less stickiness in handling the dough.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)
2 1/3 c. room temperature water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. honey
5-6 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, divided
1 T. salt
1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten
2 T. active dry yeast
In a large 4.5 mixing bowl, combine first 3 ingredients. Stir til honey is dissolved. Put 5 cups of whole wheat flour on TOP of wet ingredients. Do not stir. Sprinkle salt, gluten and yeast on top. Mix until no flour is visible. Lumps are o.k. Cover and let mixture sponge for 30 min.
Add rest of wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and sides are almost clean. Touch dough lightly. It should feel wet, but not overly sticky. (A little tiny bit of dough stuck to your fingers is o.k.) Knead for 7-10 minutes.
Oil top of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft free place for 20-30 min., till double in size.
Turn dough out onto clean, lightly oiled surface and divide into 2-3 piles (2 for large loaves, 3 for medium loaves). Shape into mounds, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Shape dough for loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm draft free place for 20 minutes, or until dough reaches almost 1" above the pan.
Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes, covering the loaves loosely with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Immediately turn out onto cooling rack.