2 cups milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/3 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
5 cups white whole-wheat flour (I use 3 c. white flour, 2 c. whole wheat flour)
1 Tbl. salt
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in butter, honey, and oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm. Combine remaining ingredients and knead 5-7 minutes.* Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with a damp kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
*I use instant yeast that does not need to be proofed (it just gets added with the dry ingredients). If you are using regular active yeast, stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes or so, and then combine with milk mixture and then the remaining ingredients.