When I first started making my own bread over 8 years ago, I was doing everything by hand. I tried a lot of recipes and didn’t find one that I loved until after my oldest daughter was born and after I had purchased my bosch. The recipe was passed on to me from my sister-in-law and I fell in love with it. It became the only recipe I ever used. Fast forward to three years ago when I started using natural yeast . . . I was too afraid to try it with any of my recipes that called for commercial yeast, so I stuck to purely sourdough recipes. Now that I am fully confident in both my bread making and natural yeasting (I just made that up) abilities, I have adapted a lot more recipes on my own.
I finally made my original go-to honey whole wheat bread into a natural yeast recipe and it was as good as I remembered it. I have always loved honey whole wheat bread. I think the honey brings out so much great flavor in the wheat. This recipe is simple and I think it’s one that appeals to the masses.
- 1 c natural yeast starter
- 2 c warm water
- ⅔ c honey
- 1 c applesauce
- 1 T salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 8-9 c whole wheat flour
- Combine the yeast, water, honey, applesauce, salt, and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer or bosch. MIx to combine on low speed.
- Add in flour, one cup at a time, until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl.
- Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to sit for 20-30 minutes. This allows the flour to soak up moisture so that you don't add too much flour.
- Once the dough has been sitting for 20-30 minutes, turn the mixer back on and if the dough is still sticky, add more flour until the dough cleans the sides of the mixer. Knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic (doesn't tear when you stretch it with your fingers).
- Cover the dough and proof for 6-12 hours in a warm place.
- Once the dough has risen, shape into 2-3 loaves (depending on their size) and place in greased pans. Allow to rise for another 2-2.5 hours.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the bottom of the loaf reads 180 degrees.