2 cups water (110 degrees)
1 Tablespoon SAF instant yeast
1 Tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (optional)
5-6 cups whole wheat flour, freshly-ground, divided
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
Place warm water, yeast, apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl or the Kitchen Aid bowl. Stir to mix well, then cover the bowl and let the batter sponge for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and punch down the dough by hand, or turn machine on to “stir” to release the air. Add oil, honey, gluten and salt, stir well to blend ingredients. Add 1 cup of flour, stir to mix in or turn mixer on to #2. Add more flour by 1/4-1/2 cupfuls until dough cleans the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky. The flour amount is approximate; use only enough flour to cause the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixer or mixing bowl. Do not add more flour past that point. Knead on #2 for 6-8 minutes or turn out onto an oiled surface to hand knead until the dough is soft and supple.
Let dough rise in an oiled covered bowl for 30 minutes or until doubled. Turn machine on to punch dough down; or press the dough with your hands to release air, then remove dough from bowl to oiled counter. Divide into two equal pieces. Form into loaves (check out my tutorial for Twisted Loaves) and place the shaped loaves into greased loaf pans. Let rise in warm oven (turned off) until 1 1/2″ above the rim of the pans. With loaves still in oven, turn oven on and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until completely done and golden brown. Remove bread from oven, place on cooling racks and cover with a clean towel to soften crust as it cools. Slice when cooled.