1½tablespoonsinstant active dry yeastOR regular active dry yeast
1½tablespoons vital wheat gluten OPTIONAL (I don't use this anymore)
Combine water, yeast and 2 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Set aside to sponge for 15-20 minutes, until risen and bubbly (warmer weather takes 15 min, cooler temps usually needs 20).
Add honey, oil, salt, (plus gluten, if using), and 4 cups of flour. Mix until dough starts to clean sides of bowl. Change to dough hook (or turn out to knead by hand), and knead 6 to 7 minutes (10 by hand). Add only a few tablespoons of flour at a time if dough sticks to sides, being careful not to add too much.
Form into two loaves and place in greased 9x5 pans (or 8.5x4.5 inch pans for a better rise). Allow to rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes, until 1/2 to 1-inch above pans (you may need 15-30 minutes longer if your kitchen is cold, but don't over rise or the loaf will fall when baked). Preheat oven to 350 degrees ten minutes before rising time is done.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through if needed.
Immediately remove from pans to cool on a rack. Allow to completely cool before slicing.***
*Regular whole wheat, whole wheat bread flour, or white whole wheat flour all work great.**I most often use Trader Joe’s cold expeller pressed sunflower oil. I have used light olive oil in the past, as well as melted butter or refined coconut oil (use refined to not impart a coconut flavor to the bread).***I usually get 14-15 slices from a loaf using a good serrated knife or electric knife.****Updated pan sizes: I'm now recommending the smaller pan size for a consistent rise. The flour amounts are on the edge of using the bigger vs. smaller pan and I think it would be more consistent in the smaller pan size.