Something I really wish I would've had yesterday for amazing sandwiches was this Whole-Wheat Bread. But, since I made it two weeks ago, it had disappeared by the time yesterday had rolled around. Williams-Sonoma: Bread featured a good tip along with this recipe, which can help you shape the loaf:
"SHAPING THE LOAF: To shape dough for a loaf pan, place on a floured board and pat into a long, even rectangle. Lift one short side and fold it over to cover about two-thirds of the rectangle. Now lift the other short side and fold it to overlap the first side, much like folding a letter. Flatten the dough with your hands, then, beginning at a short end, tightly roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Using your palms, roll the dough log back and forth on the board until it is the length of the pan. Pinch together the long center seam and the spiral seams on both ends to neatly seal the loaf."
*makes two 9-by-5 inch loaves*
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
pinch of brown sugar
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups tepid buttermilk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp salt
3 cups whole-wheat flour
3 1/2-4 cups bread flour, plus extra as needed
1) In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and brown sugar over the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2) In a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, oil, salt, and 2 cups of the whole-wheat flour. Beat on medium-low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the yeast mixture and the remaining whole-wheat flour and beat for 1 minute. Beat in the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed, adding bread flour 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth but slightly sticky when pressed, about 5 minutes.
3) Transfer the dough to an oiled deep bowl and turn the dough once to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours.
4) Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide in half and pat each half into a long rectangle. Fold 1 rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle; press to flatten. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up the dough into a thick log. Roll the log back and forth with your palms until it is the same length as the pan. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, in a prepared pan, tucking the ends under to make a neat, snug fit. Repeat with the second portion. Cover loosely with plastic and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, about 1 hour.
5) Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the pan sides, 35-40 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.