Whole Wheat Bread
Place the yeast into the bowl. Add the warm water and milk. How warm? Ideally, 105 degrees F. I find that if I can put my finger into the water without it hurting, then the water is right. To get the milk this way, I typically heat milk from the fridge for a minute in the microwave. Microwave heat varies, though, so stick a finger in there to make sure it's not too hot. If you can't stand it, neither can the yeast.
Give the liquids and yeast a stir, add the honey and oil, then walk away. The yeast should take about ten minutes to activate, longer if you're in a cold kitchen. The yeast is ready when a brown scum forms on the top.
Now it's time to add the salt and the white flour. You may wonder why there's white flour here. Whole wheat flours are heavier than , so if you made this recipe with only the brown flour, it wouldn't rise as much, and it would be quite dense. So, to make a well-rising loaf, we include two cups of white flour. Once this is mixed in, add the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time.
Soon you'll reach a point where you can't turn the dough with the spoon anymore. That means it's time to get your hands dirty. Put some flour on your hands and start kneading as you add the last of the flour. The dough should end up being smooth and elastic, and not too sticky. To get there, push the dough down onto the bottom of the bowl, then fold it in half on itself, then press it flat on the bottom of the bowl again. Keep doing this for two minutes until you don;t need to add any more flour. ( Watch the video to see if you've got the right consistency). You should be able to hold the dough upside down and the ball stays together.
The dough is now ready for its first rise. Take it out of the bowl, scrape away the flour in the bowl and dump it. Next, grease the bowl with a bit of vegetable oil, then put the dough ball back in. Cover with a damp cloth, and walk away.
The Second Rise
The first rise is done when the dough has doubled in size. This usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. The colder the kitchen, the longer it will take. The next step is to punch down the dough. Literally take a fist and punch the dough in the bowl. This deflates it, causing the carbon dioxide that the yeast has produced to escape. Knead the dough for a minute, in the bowl or just squeezing it in your hands ( see the video if you're not sure).
Grease a bread pan and place the dough inside. The bread is now ready for it's second rise. Cover it with a damp towel again, and let it rise for an hour, until the dough is obviously cresting the pan, and it looks like a loaf of bread.
Baking the Bread
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you ant a nice crispy crust, place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. When the oven is ready, place the bread pan and down into the oven on the middle shelf. This bread rises quite a bit, so give it an inch or more clearance on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
The bread should be a lovely brown, and will sound hollow when you knock on the top with your hand. Let it sit for a few minutes before taking it out of the pan, otherwise it will rip.
Give it a few minutes more to cool before slicing it. Enjoy!