For a while it seemed like everyone in the known world had a breadmaker - except me. And then, luckily, they went out of fashion and I finally got one via my mother's friend. It's a circa 1994 Westbend Bread and Dough maker, not quite as sleek as some of the fancy new ones I've seen around, but it does make bread.
Of course, being a hand me down, the bread machine came with no instructions or recipes. I searched the net for some Whole Wheat bread recipes, and found this one and a half pound loaf on the Westbend site. I liked that the bread recipe contained an egg for extra protein, used only whole wheat flour and didn't call for gluten flour (because I didn't have any). This bread cooks up nice and light, not too crumbly, and it slices beautifully. It might also be my imagination, but it also seems to stay a little fresher longer than some of the other bread recipes I've tried.
Whole Wheat Breadmaker Bread
Whole wheat bread cycle (NOT rapid bake)
Put ingredients into bread machine pan in the the following order:
7 1/2 ounces water, 80 to 90 degrees
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 1/4 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. dry milk powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tsp. yeast
Put the pan in to the bread machine and bake according to the directions. Or if you have no directions, pick a cycle that seems to fit - I would say Whole Wheat bread, but not the rapid bake, a crust colour if you have that option, and let it go to work. My machine takes about 4 hours or so to make the bread.
We store our finished bread on the counter top, just in the open air. Once it is cut, we simply stand the load on it's cut side on a cutting board, and leave it like that. It stays pretty fresh for three or four days like this, although it does have a 'crusty' crust. I should give credit for this to Mr. Chef, as this is how they store bread in the kitchen.