Best loaf forward

Best no-fail bread recipe to date: Joy of Cooking’s Whole Wheat Bread

¼ cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
2½ cups lukewarm water
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ to ½ cup sugar, honey or maple syrup (¼ cup maple syrup is perfect)
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour

*I love to toss in flax, poppy, and sesame seeds and 7 grain cereal if I have it on hand.

Combine ¼ cup water and yeast in a large bowl, and let stand until the yeast is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Add, and mix well: egg, butter, 2½ cups water, salt, and maple syrup. Add flours. Knead for about 10 minutes. Allow dough to rise in a large greased bowl (covered with a clean tea towel) until doubled (about 1 hour). Divide dough and rise again in 2 greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans until doubled, about (45 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Bake about 45 minutes. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves to a rack to cool completely.

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