This is the recipe my mom has been using for years and years. Lots of my friends have had really good luck with it! Over time, we have changed it a bit to make it more vegan-friendly. I'll post the original recipe, with the vegan substitutes in parenthesis to the side). There is also a lower fat version that I use now that I'll post way down below, since it involves trickier substitutes. I have had good luck replacing 1/2 of the oil with applesauce or wonderslim, though, if you want to try an easy substitute. I recommend trying the original recipe first to get the hang of it before you try substituting--although the egg replacer is really straight forward and doesn't mess too much with the consistency.
Mix and soak for at least 1 hour:
3 1/2 c. water (vegan: 3 3/4 c. water--to replace liquid from egg)
1 c. oil (or 1/2 c. applesauce or *wonderslim, 1/2 c. oil)
1 c. honey
2 eggs (vegan: no eggs--you'll add egg replacer later)
8 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. hot water + 4 T yeast: put dab of honey in water to help yeast rise--let rise in cup before adding
6 c. whole wheat flour
4 t. salt
(vegan: 1 T egg substitute powder--no liquid)
Knead in Bosch for 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Let rise until double; punch down. Rise again; punch down. Split dough into 5 sections. Roll out each section and form a loaf. Put in loaf pans; rise until double. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Now for the lower-fat version: this recipe makes 6 loaves instead of 5, because that's the way I figured it out:
Mix and let sit:
4 1/2 c. water
9 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. wonderslim
just over 1 c. of honey
1/4 c. (heaping) *liquid lecithin (it works best if you pour this into the wonderslim--it's very sticky and is a mess if it touches anything)
1 1/4 c. water + 1/4 c. (heaping) yeast
1 1/2 T egg replacer powder
7 c. flour
4 3/4 t. salt
4 3/4 t. salt
Follow the other directions above.
*liquid lecithin is still oil, but is supposed to be a healthier type, and is also more concentrated (without adding more calories or fat), so you can use less of it. You can buy it at health food stores. Someday I might post a picture of it.
*This bread stores and freezes really well.
*I've had friends do a half-recipe if they don't need 5 loaves, or if they don't have a mixer that can handle this much flour (a Bosch works the best)
*wonderslim: 3 cups water, 2 cups prunes, 3 T lecithin granules. (I've also done it without the lecithin, and it's fine). You can also use prune baby food