Our first recipe submission! From Mindy at Hill Happenings. Thanks Mindy!
To start mix together the following ingredients and let sit until double (usually 15-30 minutes). This step is called a sponge and is very important to allow the yeast to get a head start.
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups whole-wheat flour
After rising, add the following:
1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey or molasses (add a little more for sweeter bread)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
Mix this together and knead for 15 -20 minutes if kneading by hand. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise again until double (About 30 minutes). Punch down and shape either in a bread pan or into loaf shape and place on oiled/prepared baking stone. Cover and let rise again until double, about 20-30 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut a line in the top of the bread about 1/4 in. deep (I usually make a pretty design like you see on breads at a bakery).
Bake at 350-degrees for 30 minutes. Oil or butter top of bread for a nice shiny crust.