Basic Whole Wheat Bread

The dough for this recipe is so versatile, you can use it to create many different types of bread and rolls.

 2 medium loaves

2 tablespoons active dry yeast (two ¼-ounce packets)
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon maple syrup, molasses, or other sweetener
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups warm water
 cup vital wheat gluten
5–6 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 Place the yeast, ½ cup warm water, and a drop of the sweetener in a small bowl. Stir and let sit a few minutes until the yeast dissolves.
2 In a large bowl, add the maple syrup, oil, sea salt, 2 cups warm water, and the dissolved yeast. Stir well. Add the vital wheat gluten and about 2 cups of flour to the bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Continue adding more flour a little at a time until the dough becomes too stiff to stir and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
3 Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for at least 10 minutes or until soft and elastic. 
4 Transfer the kneaded dough to a large, oiled bowl, then turn it over so the top is coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth and place in a warm spot for about an hour or until the dough doubles in bulk.
5 Punch down the risen dough, then fold it over and press out any air bubbles.
6 Cut the dough in half, shape each half into a loaf, then place the loaves in two well-oiled and floured 8.5-x-4.5-inch bread pans. Lightly cover the pans and let the loaves rise again about 45 minutes or until doubled.
7 Place the pans on the middle rack of a 350°F oven, and bake for 45 minutes or until the tops are brown and hollow-sounding when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle. Cool on a wire rack before serving.




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