For this recipe, you will need a bread machine that can hold four cups of flour for a two pound loaf.
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp softened butter
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white wheat flour*
1 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp fast rising dry yeast
If you keep your yeast in the refrigerator, set it out ahead of time to get it to room temperature. You will also need to soften your butter.
Place all ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. With mine, the liquids go in first, and they tell you to make a well in the flour for the yeast which goes in last.
Set your machine on whole wheat cycle, light crust color, and 2 pound loaf.
A few minutes after it starts mixing, I like to open the machine to take a look at the dough and touch it. Ideally, it will have formed a ball that is only slightly sticky to the touch. Your machine may shake a little, but if it is practically walking across the counter, then your dough is too dry. If the dough is too dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet (sticky), add more flour a tablespoon at a time.
Remove bread from pan when your bread machine cycle is done, and cool on wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap or store in a bread keeper.
This is the best bread I have ever made and quite possibly the only bread machine recipe you will ever need. Not only is this wholesome loaf light, fluffy, and delicious, but it does not contain any refined sugar and is made with half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour.
*The whole wheat flour I use is called "white wheat." It is a breed of flour which is lighter in color and milder in taste so it is great for winning over white bread lovers to a whole grain bread. The secret to making wheat bread light and fluffy is adding a little bit of vital wheat gluten. While developing this recipe, I experimented with leaving out that extra ingredient, and it made a huge difference in the texture of the bread. In my opinion, the added gluten eliminates the need for using bread flour in your machine which is slightly more expensive than all purpose flour. I definitely would not change a thing about this perfect recipe!
Did you know that the bread machine is not just for yeast breads? You can also make sweet quick breads like this "Summer Squash Bread."