With my experience in bread, Making a 100 % whole wheat bread is not always ideal. Whole wheat makes the bread really dense and hard. I prefer a softer bread, therefore I use 50% whole wheat flour and 50% bread flour. The results are beautiful! The benefits of making your own bread:
2. You know exactly what's in your bread (Have you ever looked at the ingredients in bread and don't understand half of them?)
3. Healthier (you make it as healthy as you want it)
4. It's fun :)
The first time you make bread, FOLLOW THE RECIPE EXACTLY! That way you don't go back and wonder if you could've done something different if it didn't turn out like the freaken picture, Don'tcha hate that!
When I made this bread the first time, I baked it the exact length the recipe told me too but it came out a little too dark on the top for my taste. SO the 2ND time I made it, I watched the bread like a hawk and left the OVEN LIGHT on. KEEPING THAT OVEN LIGHT ON WILL SAVE MANY OF YOUR BREADS! You can't just walk away and take it out when the timer goes off!
I like to read a book while I'm watching my bread bake---PLUS it's really cool to watch!
Watching my bread helped me cut about 5-10 minutes off of the recipe. As CHEESY as it sounds, you kind of have to go with your instincts when you bake---ask yourself, Does it look how you want it to look?
Don't cut into the bread after it comes it! I MEAN IT...don't do it. You're bread is still cooking inside and forming that beautiful soft inside :) If you CAN, wait until that night for a midnight snack or next morning, your bread will be nice and soft! This recipe makes 2 loaves, I kept one and FROZE the other. Surprisingly, the 2nd loaf that I froze was softer, because when you wrap the bread in plastic wrap, foil and zip-locked in a bag, it seals in the moisture REALLY well!
One more thing! Choose an afternoon where you don't have anything planned. Saturday or Sunday afternoons work best for me. You need a chunk of time, because you can't rush making bread. It takes "tender, love and care."
You can find the recipe HERE!