unsalted butter, for greasing the pan and rubbing on the bread
Grease the inside of a 9 inch loaf pan with butter or baking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast, and honey. Let it stand for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to become foamy.
Add in salt, all of the wheat flour and 2 cups of the white flour. Using a wooden spoon or dough hook, mix the ingredients slowly until they just come together.
Continue to add more white flour, a little bit at a time, while mixing until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.
Continue to knead in the mixer on medium speed or turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand. Knead for about 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and bounces back when a finger is pressed into it.
Spray the bowl used to mixed the dough with baking spray and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Remove the cover from the bowl and punch down the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and stretch into a rectangle that is approximately 9 inches by 12 inches.
Starting on the shorter side, roll up the rectangle to create a loaf shape.
Place the shaped dough into the prepared pan and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for a second time in a warm spot, until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown. It should also make a hollow thumping sound when tapped on.
Remove the bread from the oven and rub the top of the loaf of bread with butter to make a softer crust.
Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn it out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
This recipe will yield a 9-inch loaf of bread which can be sliced in 12-16 slices.
Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot, so the yeast can activate properly. It should be about 110˚ when checked with a kitchen thermometer or the temperature of luke warm bath water.
All of the white flour may not need to be used and more might be needed. The amount of flour needed depends on the weather and how the flour is measured. The dough should not be sticky, but tacky to the touch.
Rubbing the top of the freshly baked loaf of bread with butter will help to make a softer crust.
Try to let the bread cool until just barely warm to prevent the bread from drying out or becoming gummy.
Substitutions and Variations
Yeast - This recipe uses dry active yeast to leaven the bread, but instant yeast can also be used. The difference between instant and dry active yeast is that dry active yeast needs to be dissolved in liquid, while instant yeast can be mixed right in. Active yeast will cause rising times to be less than when dry active yeast is used.
Whole Wheat - For a whole wheat version of this bread, simply use only wheat flour instead of a blend. This will produce a denser loaf of wheat bread.
White - Instead of a blend, using only all purpose flour to provide an everyday white sandwich bread.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
This recipe can be doubled or tripled and then stored for use later. Make sure the stand mixer will accommodate the large amount of dough or mix it by hand in a large mixing bowl.
Freshly baked and cooled bread will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. To freeze this bread, make sure it is fully cooled and then wrap it tightly in plastic and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months.