SOFT WHOLE WHEAT SANDWICH BREAD

Bread Bagel Rolls Muffins, Food From Friends

5 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tbsp. kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup honey
5 large eggs
2/3 cup neutral-flavoured oil, or unsalted butter, melted, or zero trans fat, zero hydrogenated oil margarine, melted

Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Combine the liquid ingredients and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.

Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. The flavour will be best if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.

On baking day, lightly grease an 8-1/2×4-1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Elongate the ball into an oval and place it into the loaf pan; your goal is to fill the pan about 3/4 full. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the loaf to rest for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. The baking stone is not essential for loaf-pan breads; if you omit it, the preheat can be as short as 5 minutes.

Place the loaf on a rack near the centre of the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Smaller or larger loaf pans will require adjustments in baking time.

Remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing and eating.