I'm not calling this a Whole Wheat Loaf. Sorry, I'm just not. It's a pretty good loaf of bread, but it's not whole wheat (although, we ARE using all wheat flour. No barley flour or rye flour was snuck in there.) Half of the flour is whole wheat and half is white bread flour. I guess I was thinking that whole wheat and whole grain are synonymous, but maybe that's just me. Check out the recipe yourself at these websites: Michele from Veggie Num Nums and Teresa from The Family That Bakes Together (Thank you, ladies!)
I bake almost all of our household bread. Why? Because the bread I like (usually Pepperidge Farms or Arnolds) is $3.99 a loaf, and I die a little inside when I think about how expensive that it. The presence of lots of unpronounceable preservatives also annoys me. So I usually bake a loaf a week, and we use it for toast, sandwiches and the occasional french toast breakfast blowout. My two favorite recipes are Oatmeal Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Bread. Both of these breads are moist, soft and mostly (or all) whole grain. They are also both from King Arthur Flour's website and appear in their excellent Whole Grain Baking book.
So I bake a lot of sandwich loaves. How do I manage? With my handy-dandy Zojirushi bread machine, which I bought from KA more than 15 years ago. (I swear they are not paying me to plug their products, website or recipes!) Do I bake in it? I think I did once or twice when I first got it, but not anymore. The crust gets tough, plus you have a weird hole in the bottom of your bread (from the kneading paddles.)
This recipe was a good one for the machine. Just be sure to halve it. It doesn't get a lot easier than this: dump the ingredients in the bucket and turn the machine on to the Dough or Homemade setting. Check the machine once during the beginning of the kneading cycle, and once during the end (that way you can make sure the dough isn't too wet or too dry.) Let it go through the first rise and then shape it and put it in the pan. Let it rise again and then bake it. The loaf rose nice and high and browned nicely in the oven.
It dried out pretty quickly, so it wasn't a good candidate for sandwiches. It made really good toast. It won't displace either of my favorites, but it's fun to try a new recipe every now and then. After all, that's what TWD is all about, right?