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Honey wheat-germ whole-wheat bread

Makes 2 loaves

1 1/2cups hot tap water
1tablespoon yeast
1/3cup honey
1teaspoon salt
1 1/2cups whole-wheat flour
1/2cup wheat germ
3tablespoons shortening or butter
3cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or more as needed
Extra unbleached all-purpose flour (for kneading)
Extra butter (for the tops)

1. Have on hand two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/3-inch loaf pans.

2. Put the hot water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Pour the honey on top. Set aside, without stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and frothy.

3. In a large bowl, combine the salt, whole-wheat flour, and wheat germ. Cut in the shortening or butter. Stir in the yeast mixture and combine well.

4. Begin adding all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a workable dough. Butter a large bowl.

5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface sprinkled with all-purpose flour. Knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

6. On the floured board, punch the dough down and form it into two loaves. Place them, seams down, in the loaf pans. Cover again and leave to rise for 45 minutes.

7. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for 35 minutes, or until they are golden brown and make a deep, full sound when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.

8. Butter the tops of the loaves while they're still in the pans. Turn the loaves out onto cooling racks. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. The bread is best eaten the day it's baked, preferably still warm. Megan McQuivey

Notes:

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