Classic 100 percent Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf.
Note: From King Arthur Flour.
• 1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
• 1/4 c. vegetable oil
• 1/4 c. honey, molasses or maple syrup
• 3 1/2 c. King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or premium 100 percent whole wheat flour
• 2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp. of the lukewarm water in the recipe
• 1/4 c. Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
• 1 1/4 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual.") Note that this dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it and allow the dough to rise until puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch-long log. Place the log in a lightly greased 4 1/2- by 8 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the center has crowned about 1 inch above the rim of the pan. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a bit of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.