When I got married there was never any question in my mind as to whether we'd have homemade or store bought bread. My parents had switched us to exclusively homemade bread several years ago, and we became so used to the tasty homemade goodness that on the rare occasion mom would get store bought bread as a treat it would go untouched for weeks before she had to throw it out. Unfortunately, my own bread making experiments had met with (very) mixed results. I didn't know if I could consistently pull off a tasty and well risen loaf of bread every week.
It did take a bit of trial and error, but I've finally got the recipe hammered down and consistent. My hubby loves it when I make this, and I enjoy sending him to work with a hearty home-made sandwich for lunch. So, without further ado:
Soaked Honey Wheat Bread
1 1/4 C water
1 tbs whey, yougurt, buttermilk, or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of honey (be generous)
1.5 tbs butter
3.5 cups flour
Place this in bread machine and run dough cycle for 5-10 minutes to mix into dough. Turn off bread machine, allow to rest for 12-24 hours. (For more about why I soak grains see: Soaked grains?)
After allowing the dough to rest, add:
1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp dry milk
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
Turn on machine and select whole wheat setting.
*Tip: if your machine has a timer setting, you can go ahead and add in the dry milk, salt and yeast on top of soaking flour, and set the machine to start in 12 hours. This way you don't have to come back and do something else with it, just let the machine do the work.