You don't need many tools to do this by hand. You will want: a largish wire whisk, a LARGE bowl if you're doing the 6 loaf batch, a heavy wooden spoon, some plastic or something to cover the dough while it rises (I use an old bread bag cut open), bread pans, and a few muscles... though if you don't have those already, you'll develop some while you knead your dough. LOL!
Joan's White Bread by Hand
6 C. warm water (about 100-104 degrees)
6 T. yeast (Joan used regular yeast, I use instant & just use slightly less than each tablespoon)
1/2 - 3/4 C. sugar
Whisk together in a very large bowl. Add:
6 tsp. salt
1/2 C. oil
3 C. flour (you can add whole wheat flour here if you want or some cracked wheat - I use 2 C. whole wheat in most of my batches)
Whisk again, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
When your 30 minutes are up (I often only do 15), grab your whisk and whisk it again well. Add another 9-10 cups of flour ONE CUP AT A TIME mixing well after each addition. (I like to use the whisk for the first 2 cups of this flour addition but then have to switch to a wooden spoon) Dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl but may still be a little sticky. Let rise 30-60 minutes until doubled. (This is an optional rise - you can go straight to kneading if you're in a hurry, but letting it do this rise really does help the texture)
Punch down and knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). While kneading, you'll work in another cup or two of flour. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double. (another 30-60 minutes)
Punch down, cut into 6 portions. (I just squish the dough into pieces rather than use a knife) Shape each portion into a ball & let rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Form into loaves. (I turn the top side down and press it into a small rectangle, roll slightly & pinch the seam together) Place in greased loaf pans and rise until double.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (a little longer if you want a crustier bread - or turn the oven up to 375) After turning out of pans, you may rub the top crust with shortening or butter if you want a soft crust, or leave as is.
Joy's Note's: If I'm using whole wheat flour at the first, sometimes I add 1/2 C. gluten or I use some bread flour. I'm lazy and don't knead it a really long time so this helps the texture. Otherwise, if you knead it good, it should turn out great. My loaves are not always picture perfect. Sometimes the sides crack, sometimes, the top wrinkles after it's out of the oven, SOMETIMES they turn out beautiful though! (and then I don't want anyone to cut them lol )
We find the yummiest way to eat this is hot out of the oven, in a thick slice slathered with butter and honey or home made freezer jam. YUMMMMMYYY!!!
Holler if you have any questions.... and then enjoy your delicious bread!
Ingredients for 2 loaves:
2 C. water
2 T. yeast
3-4 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 T. oil
1 C. flour
Then add 3-4 1/2 C. more of flour.