- 12 cups whole wheat flour, divided in 2
- 1 1/2 cups seeds (optional) (ie. hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, sesame etc)
- 4 1/2 tsp. yeast
- 1/2 c. liquid honey plus 1 tbsp.
- 6 tbsp. butter, melted, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. salt
- water (see below for amounts)
1. Soak for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours:
- 6 cups flour in 5 cups warm water
- Up to 1 1/2 cups seeds (optional)
- Cover with damp tea towel
Flour/water mixture shouldn’t be watery. Water should just mix into flour without any excess.
Make sure there is no dry flour. Add by the tbsp. if needed.
2. Start sponge (half hour before starting):
- in 1/2 c. warm water, gently mix 4 1/2 tsp. yeast and 1 tbsp. honey until just mixed. Set aside. Do not over-mix.
Sponge should be visibly active: bubbles forming etc. before adding to recipe.
3. Melt 6 tbsp. butter. Cool to room temperature.
4. After flour is soaked and sponge is bubbly add to soaked flour/seed mixture:
- melted butter at room temperature
- sponge (should be bubbly with yeast obviously active)
- 1 cup luke warm (not hot!) water
- 1/2 cup liquid honey (not hot!)
- 2 tsp. salt (sprinkled in)
5. Mix/ knead in 5-6 cups flour to right consistency. (Stir in until it is too hard to stir, then dump on lightly floured countertop and knead in.) Dough should feel pliable and not dry. Sprinkle counter top with small amount of flour as needed to prevent from sticking to the counter. Knead for 15 minutes.
6. Place dough in large, greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel. Place in warm (not hot!) corner on counter top. Allow to rise until double: up to 2 hours.
7. Remove from bowl, punch down and kneed for 2 minutes. Divide into 4 even sizes.
8. Kneed each individual loaf. Roll with a rolling pin and then roll up dough. Pinch to make a loaf shape. Place in greased loaf pan. Repeat for all 4 loaves. Cover loaves with damp tea towel.
9. Allow to rise until double: up to 2 hours.
10. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and smell amazing 11. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from loaf pans and cool completely on wire rack. Brush tops with butter if desired. It makes the loaf tops nice and soft.
- Any ingredients added to a bread recipe should not be hotter than luke warm (drop some water on your wrist. It should feel the same temperature as your wrist) or you may kill the active yeast culture.
- Bread rising time depends on room temperature, air pressure, altitude etc. I am located at sea level.
- Make sure your yeast expiry date hasn’t passed. Yeast can be too old to work properly.