Remember my whole wheat bread recipe? Well, my friend Emily, master of bread and the one that I always bug when I have questions, messed around with it a bit and lightened it up to make good sandwich bread. I love whole wheat bread as much as anyone, but sometimes it's a little overly hearty for a sandwich. I made her version last week and was really happy with how it came out. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
2 ¾ cup warm water
4 t. dry active yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Instant yeast)
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup molasses
1 ½ t. salt
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
6-6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the oil, honey, molasses, salt and 5 cups of the flour until well combined. Allow to rest 10 -15 minutes. Then, knead in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is just barely not sticky, and knead for about 4 minutes. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with a towel to let it rise until double (30-60 minutes). Turn on the oven to 375, punch down and form into two loaves and place into greased bread pans. Allow to rise for ONLY 9-10 minutes, then bake for 32-35 minutes. These loaves have even more oven spring than my original recipe, so don't fret if they haven't risen very high before you bake them.
A word about flour – I like to use freshly ground hard white wheat flour. Wheat from Montana has a higher gluten content and makes better bread. Wheat flour doesn't keep as well once ground as processed white flour, so if you grind a bunch at once and aren't going to use it right away, store it in your fridge. If you use purchased flour, it will have settled and packed down, and it may require less. To help keep the measurements more consistent, stir the flour around to fluff it up before you measure it.