I have spent years trying to find the perfect bread recipe. As far as I am concerned, I just found it! I got a recipe for Delicious Whole Wheat Bread from Recipes for the future and tweaked it a little. I love it! So here it is:
Combine (in a 1 cup measuring cup):
1/4 c lukewarm water
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp instant yeast
Stir it and let it rest while you combine:
1 c potato water (make this ahead: boil 2-4 potatoes and save the water)
1/2 c lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 c nonfat dry milk
When the yeast mixture has foamed up to about 3/4 to 1 cup in the measuring cup, combine the two in a large bowl and add:
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
Mix well. Then add, gradually:
3 c whole wheat flour.
Knead for 5-10 minutes, adding extra whole wheat flour as needed (probably about 1/4 c more), to keep the dough from sticking to whatever surface you are kneading on (and your hands).
Oil a large bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise 60 minutes or until doubled.
Grease a bread pan. Form the bread into a loaf and place seam side down in the pan. Cover with the same plastic wrap, loosely. Let rise 40-60 minutes or until the dough has risen to 3/4 to 1" above the top of the pan (in the middle of the loaf). Place in a cold oven, set the oven to 350 degrees and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully put aluminum foil over the bread and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you take it out of the pan and tap the bottom.