Since I've dubbed myself a bread maker lately, I thought I would share my homemade wheat bread recipe. It's a slightly modified recipe I got from my friend Heather.
2 3/4 cups warm water 1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar 4 cups hard white wheat flour
1 Tbsp. yeast 3-5 cups white bread flour
1/4 cup oil
Combine and stir the warm water, sugar, and yeast, then let sit approximately 10 minutes to activate. In the meantime, add the oil, salt, 4 cups of hard white wheat flour, and 3 cups of white flour in a mixing bowl with a bread hook. Add the yeast mixture after it has activated. Mix on low for 1 minute, adding white flour gradually until the dough forms a ball and then comes away from the side of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 7 more minutes, then place in greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down and form into loaves or rolls. Cover and let rise until double, about 40-60 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees. 18-20 minutes for bread, 13-15 minutes for rolls. Remove from pans to completely cool.
I'll also share with you a few tricks I've learned over my 2 1/2 years of married, bread making, experience. First of all, you can change the ratios of white and wheat flour however you like. You can make all white or all wheat bread. Until recently I was an all white kind of gal, but lately I've been doing it in this ratio (about half and half) because I feel like it's healthier, I have wheat and a wheat grinder now, it tastes yummy, and I'm not brave enough to go 100% whole wheat.
Next...the must of bread making that I've learned the hard way. Bread must cook for the full 18-20 minutes. If the tops look perfectly brown after 15 minutes don't fall for it! If you take those pretty little loaves out after 15 minutes you will be a sad homemaker indeed when you slice those puppies and find a raw middle. Yuck! The trick is to check your bread at about 15 minutes and if the tops look done, just slide a piece of foil over them. The foil will keep the tops from burning, but will allow the middles to cook through.