Long time family staple from the Cabbagetown Cookbook.
3 cups hot water
1/3 cup honey
2 T active dry yeast
4 c whole wheat bread flour
3 T oil
about 2 more cups whole wheat bread flour
Poppy Seeds or Sesame Seeds
Dissolve the honey the warm water (should feel slightly warm, not hot if dripped on your wrist) in a large bowl. Stir well then sprinkle the yeast in, mix and let stand for about 5 minutes. Yeast should start foaming after 5 minutes.
Gradually add the 4 cups of whole wheat bread flour, and stir until smooth. Set aside to rise in a warm spot for 1-3 hours. Punch it down once or twice if it gets too high.
Add the oil and salt, stir it in then Gradually add more whole wheat flour to the bowl stirring in one direction to work up the gluten. Continue adding flour until the dough holds together. It should still be fairly wet.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 5 minutes. Don’t overdo it or knead in too much flour. The dough should continue to be sticky and hard to work with, because a slightly wet dough is best for gluten formation. Dust the counter with flour only as needed. It’s done when you can poke the dough with your thumb and the dough springs back.
Lightly oil the bowl and return the dough to it. Allow the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least one hour, or until it is more than double in bulk. Punch it down and divide into 2 portions. Knead each portion until it holds together in a smooth ball. Put the balls onto a floured surface, drape with a damp towel, and let rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Punch them down again, shape each ball into a loaf and place in lightly oiled loaf pans.
Brush with slightly beaten egg. Sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds on top of the loaves.
Let the loaves rise in a warm spot for 45 min, or until double in bulk. Place the loaves in a preheated 350° F oven. Bake until the loaves are firm and golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. About 55 minutes.
10 minutes after removing from the oven, remove the loaves from their pans and cool on a rack.
Adapted from “The Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook,” by Julie Jordan, page 40