Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homemade White Bread

I have tried MANY bread recipes over the years. This one has gained almost universal approval from my husband, kids, friends, family, etc. I kept trying to find a recipe for the breadmaker, but when I found this one decide this was almost as easy and 10 times yummier. It does take some time. If I'm making bread (it can also be used for scones, rolls, cinnamon rolls) I usually plan on 3 hours. Most of that time is taking with rising and so it's not really labor intensive, just a lot of waiting. I am still in the market for a killer Wheat Bread Recipe, so if you have a great one...Pass it on!

Mom's Homemade Bread

2 pkg yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C lukewarm water
3/4 C sugar
1 C powdered milk
4 tsp salt
2 large TBLS shortening
4 1/2 C warm water
13 C flour

Put yeast in a small bowl with 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 C lukewarm water. Set aside to rise. In a large bowl put 3/4 C sugar, powdered milk, salt, shortening and 4 1/2 C water. Mix. (The shortening won't dissolve and will still be really lumpy in the mixture. Don't worry, it get's mixed in just fine as you add the flour.) Add yeast mixture to this mixture. Slowly start to add up to 13 C flour. After the first 6 cups, mix really well to activate the yeast, about 5 minutes, in a Bosch mixer or by hand. (I don't have a Bosch, so I just use a spoon and elbow grease!) Be sure not to add too much flour, dough will be a little sticky still. Turn out on lightly floured counter and knead until smooth. (I actually just have a large bowl I use to mix everything in and knead it in that. It also helps if you have a lower surface to knead on so you can get more of your upper body power into it. It makes less work for your arms :) Put into a greased bowl to rise (I just keep in the same bowl still, don't usually worry about greasing it), cover with a warm, damp towel. Raise to double the size. Punch down and smooth out. Let rise again. Divide into 5 loaves, shape and place in oiled bread pans. Oil the top of the bread loaf, if desired. Let rise to double again in the pans. Bake 15 minutes at 400 and 15 minutes at 350. Turn out and butter tops.

HINT: Before starting, put your 13 C flour in a bowl so you don't loose count while mixing.

For CINNAMON ROLLS, DINNER ROLLS and SCONES, take the dough you need after the first rise. This recipe makes perfect scones. I just pull off small chunks of dough and pull until they are thin rectangles. We have a deep fryer and just pop them in there. You have to turn them to get both sides, but watch carefully because they don't take very long. If you don't get them thin enough though they will done on the outside, but doughy in the middle.

For CINNAMON ROLLS: Roll out into a rectangle and butter thickly. (This works better if I have my husband rolls it out. The dough is very elastic and I have a hard time getting it as thin as I like for cinnamon rolls with my own strength :) Then cover with brown sugar, a lot of cinnamon (to your taste), a little nutmeg (optional), raisins (optional) and nuts (optional). Roll up and slice (I used waxed floss). Put in pan and let rise. Cook for 375 for 20-30 minutes. While still warm drizzle with icing.

For "Hillbilly Bread" you can mix wheat and white flour. Use up to 5 C wheat and 8 C white. More wheat than that and the bread doesn't turn out too well. (I have actually never tried it, but it was listed in the here's an option for you to try).