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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tender Home Made Bread

I love this recipe for bread.  Several years ago at Relief Society meeting my neighbor Joan, demonstrated how to make this bread by hand.  I had made bread with a mixer for years, but it always seemed a little heavy and dried out in a day or two after baking.  This method turns out a light, tender,  moist, loaf of bread.  You can do it in the mixer as well, but mine turns out best kneading it by hand.   I make mine in 6 loaf batches, if you don't use that much bread at once, you can either freeze some of your loaves, give a loaf or two away,OR it's easy to cut this down to 4 or 2 loaves.  (I may even get ambitious and post the amounts for just 2 loaves as well)

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.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! I am going to give this recipe a try this weekend. Thanks, Joy!