3 cups white flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup barley flour
2 tbs. of instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. of dark cocoa
1/4 cup whiskey
2 tbs. of honey
2 tbs. of vegetable oil
3 cups of warm water (approx 140 degrees)
Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Combine liquid ingredients. Pour half of liquid to bowl and mix using plastic bowl scraper or spatula. Add remaining liquid and mix until dough is formed. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes. Return to oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove dough from bowl, knead lightly on a lightly floured surface and separate into 2 equal balls of dough. Knead lightly and shape into 2 loaves. Place in oiled bread pan or form 2 round loaves on a baking pan. Let rise another 45 minutes (or until doubled in size), score using a sharp knife and place in oven preheated to 400 degrees. Bake until bread is brown with a hallow sound when tapped. About 30-35 minutes. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks. Makes 2 hearty 2 lb. loaves of bread.
You may have noticed that the yeast is added to the dry ingredients and not pre-activated. I have never pre-activated the yeast in all my years of making bread, with great success.
I reduced the usual salt content because the rye flour adds a salty flavor. You can substitute molasses for the honey for darker bread. Making bread by hand can be messy, stay with it; the dough will come together and pull away from your hands. Kneading bread is all about stretching the dough and folding it over to capture air. You will develop your own style. I push the dough down, pull one side a bit and fold it over, repeat. Kneading bread causes the transformation from flour to dough. You will notice the transformation as the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a round shape on the floured surface. Using a counter mixer with a dough hook is a bit neater but less fun. A tablespoon of caraway seeds added to the dry ingredients gives the bread a boost of rye flavor.