Because you can bake this bread in loaf pans or on baking sheets, it's perfect for people who don't have four identical loaf pans. I give some loaves as gifts, then freeze the remaining for my family.
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- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 4 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
- 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
- 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 8 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the buttermilk, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, wheat germ, salt and 4 cups all-purpose flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four pieces. Shape into loaves. Place in four greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans or on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Tasty Whole Wheat Bread in Best of Country Breads 2000, p40
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