The art of bread making is a very important skill that takes a little time to master. It's worth it to get the knack of it, as having freshly baked bread made with whole grains is a wonderfully frugal way to feed your family good quality fresh food. I am no master baker, and I certainly made a lot of "door stops" before I got the hang of making bread. What I make now (after all that trial and error) passes for fairly decent bread :)
This recipe works very well for bread made with Hard Red Wheat. It makes 4 big loaves that are great for sandwich bread and toasting. I buy my wheat from a local organic farmer and I grind it right before baking, but you can easily use store bought whole wheat flour.
This is 14xmommy's Bread Recipe
5 cups hot water (120 deg)
2 large eggs
1.5 Tbsp salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey or sugar
approx 8 cups whole wheat flour to start (you'll add more at kneading time - likely another 8 cups)
1/4 cup instant yeast
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten *
Put wet ingredients into mixer and mix well. Add flour, yeast and gluten. Knead on low speed till blended well, then add more flour gradually a half cup at a time, until the dough pulls together and just begins to pull away from the side of the mixer bowl. Knead for approximately 14-18 minutes. Check for gluten development by pulling a piece of dough - it should be stretchy and thin when pulled, but should not break. If it does, keep kneading till it's nice and stretchy.
Shape into loaves and place into greased bread pans. Let rise slowly in a warm place (not too hot, though!) till doubled. Proof by sticking your finger into the dough. If it springs back, let it rise a bit more, if it doesn't, it's done rising and ready to bake. Usually 30 minutes is plenty unless your house is really cool.
Place loaves into a 350 deg oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when thumped. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks before slicing.
Give it a go! It's delicious :)
* Edited to add - you may have to adjust the recipe to include more vital wheat gluten. With the most recent batch of wheat I'm using, it needs 1/2 cup in order to get to the stretchy stage. No matter how long I kneaded it, it wouldn't get there. I now add 1/2 cup right at the beginning when I'm loading the mixer. Every wheat will be different. Start at 1/4 cup.