In a medium-sized bowl, stir together water, oil, sweetener, and yeast. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour and salt.
When liquid mixture looks bubbly, add it to the flour mixture.
Stir until dough is uniform in color. Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well between each addition until a smooth, stiff dough forms. If it gets too hard to stir with a spoon, you might need to use your hands. Go ahead, get a little messy.
Cover bowl with a dishtowel and set someplace warm. I turn the oven light on and place the bowl in my oven. PUT A STICKY NOTE on the oven controls so you don't turn it on accidentally.
Let dough rise for 30 minutes. Then uncover it, punch it down (three swift punches does the trick), and cover again.
Let dough rise another 30 minutes.
Grease two bread pans with butter. Gently rip dough in half, then smooth one half into an oblong shape that fits the pan. Do the same with the other half.
Cover bread pans, return them to a warm place, and allow them to rise another 30 minutes.
Uncover risen loaves. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, until light golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Gently slide a butter knife around the outside of the loaf, between the bread and the pan, to loosen it from the the pan. Then use pot holders to carefully flip the bread pan upside down and let the loaf fall out onto the counter.
Place loaves on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool a few more minutes before slicing and spreading with copious amounts of butter.
If you want to see what the dough is supposed to look like before it's ready to rise, watch this short video of me making it!
Whole Grain Baking
This recipe works great with whole wheat and spelt flour. You can use half whole and half white, or simply use all whole grain. Obviously, the results will vary, but it all tastes fantastic.
Either way, I highly recommend kneading it for a few minutes before allowing it to rise. This helps activate the gluten strands, which are a little lazy in whole grain flour.
I've kneaded it in the bowl, and I've kneaded it on the counter sprinkled with flour. You will get the best results with a 10 minute knead, but any amount will likely improve the bread.
I've also used a Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the bread. Just check with the manufacturer instructions regarding whole grain flours. THEY WILL BURN OUT THE MOTOR if used improperly. Ask me how I know.
You may also need to double the rise time (again with the lazy whole grain gluten).
Whole grain breads tend to be more crumbly, so if you're looking for a non-crumbly whole wheat sandwich bread, go here!
I use this recipe for more than just bread loaves! It's our dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls (substitute water for milk and oil for butter if you like), and bread braids.
Sometimes I replace part of the flour with oats or cornmeal. Sometimes I add chopped nuts or seeds for a multi-grain flair. Just monkey with it and have fun.
Dinner Rolls Variation
The Easiest Bread You Will Ever Bake https://www.cheapskatecook.com/easiest-bread/