1) Mix the wet ingredients and activate the yeast
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, syrup and yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so that the yeast activates.
2) Whisk together the dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and salt.
3) Mix the dough
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl containing the dry ingredients and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon in a circular motion for 1 minute. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag or wet towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
4) Mix the dough again briefly then allow it to rise again
Vigorously mix the dough again with the wooden spoon for 30 seconds and allow it to rise once more, covered, at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
5) Proof the dough
Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Stir the dough one last time for 30 seconds to degass it. The dough can now be proofed by gently forming it into a lightly oiled loaf pan and allowed to sit covered with a plastic bag until it reaches about 80% to 90% of it’s intended size, which should be about 40 minutes. The proofing stage is where the dough takes most of it’s shape. It’s important to leave room under the plastic bag so the dough can rise sufficiently.
6) Bake your bread to perfection
Remove the plastic bag so the dough can rest for about 10 minutes. Due to the high water content in the dough it may begin to spill over the sides of the loaf pan. In this case, take the edges of the dough and stretch it over the loaf to the other side, working your way around the perimeter of the loaf pan as you go. Stretching the dough over itself will also help keep the loaf in its proper shape as it bakes. Lightly dust the top of the loaf with wheat germ, wheat bran or oat bran.
During baking, the dough will rise another 10% to 20% of it’s intended size in the process known as oven spring. Bake for about 45 minutes. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees in the oven halfway through the baking duration for even baking.
7) Allow the bread to cool slightly before removing it from the loaf pan
Remove the bread from the loaf pan after about 30 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack until it’s cooled to room temperature. This bread is best stored covered in a cool dark place or pre-sliced and stored in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer. This recipe makes one loaf of Bread.
Enjoy your homemade bread!