This recipe is based on the excellent work by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois of Artisan Bread in Five
fame. It has been modified somewhat for an easily braided loaf.
I have been baking bread for years. I don't have room in my kitchen for a large mixer, so would spend a good 20 to 30 minutes kneading by hand for a well developed gluten in my dough. Jeff and Zoe's innovation of making a very quick very wet dough and letting it rise for hours is the most exciting thing to happen to bread making since dry yeast!
This recipe makes 3 large braided loaves. In principle you can bake part of it and refrigerate the rest to bake later, but note that raw eggs make this more of a health risk than a simple basic recipe (watch the videos on the Artisan Bread in Five site).
I started out making this recipe with 100% unbleached white, then moved to 25% whole wheat, and then to 50% white, 25% whole wheat and 25% whole spelt. I will give the proportions for each of these options.
Update: I have gradually weaned my children off of white flour, and am now using a 50:50 whole wheat:spelt mixture. If your whole wheat flour is very dark and heavy, you may want to adulterate slightly with regular unbleached.