This recipe produces a bread with a nicely caramelized dark crust, with a lot of oven spring.
The dough also works well for making rolls, braided loaves, epis de ble, etc.
For a lighter version, start by soaking the whole wheat flour in 1 1/4 cup of water for an hour or two. Reduce the amount milk used by that same amount.
14 ounces (3 cups) bread flour
14 ounces (3 cups) whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
1/4 cup oil 2 ounces)
2 Tablespoons instant yeast
1/3 cup honey (4 ounces)
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups scalded milk (Note, if you want a denser loaf, don't scald the milk, just bring it up room temperature or heat it to about 80 degrees.)
Scald milk then allow to cool back to room temperature.
Mix ingredients, knead for 10 minutes, then place in an oiled bowl, cover, and allow dough to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.
Divide dough into two equal parts, shape, allow to rise another 60-90 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 28-30 minutes or until internal temperature is 200 degrees. The loaf should be fairly dark on the bottom.
As an interesting variant add some or all of these: add 1/4 cup of wheat germ, 1/4 cup of wheat bran and 1/4 cup of cracked wheat. (Soaking the cracked wheat in the milk for a while will soften it, but that's not necessary.)