This is a fantastic whole wheat bread recipe! I was so happy with the texture and how light it turned out - whole wheat bread has such a tendency to be too dense. The secret it using white whole wheat flour (though you can use regular whole wheat flour too!) and vital wheat gluten - both help the texture to be lighter. And the flavor is delicious! There really is nothing better than a slice of fresh, warm bread with butter and jam. SO good!
My Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread (3 Loaves)
3 cups very warm water
1 ½ tablespoons yeast (I use SAF instant yeast)
¼ cup shortening
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flour)
In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer combine water and yeast, swirl the water and yeast together a little by mixing with the dough hook. Stop and wait for yeast to dissolve and froth a little. Add shortening, honey, salt, vital wheat gluten, and 3 cups of the ww flour and mix with dough hook until smooth. While mixing, add flour a cup at a time until you have a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead with dough hook on high speed for 5 minutes.
Remove dough and place in a large non-stick sprayed bowl. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Knead again with hands on a non-stick sprayed (or floured) surface. Cut into 3 equal pieces and shape into loaves. Place in 3 greased 9x5 loaf pans. Cover loosely with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in pans, about 40 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned on top and bottom. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.