How to make Homemade Bread
I’ve been baking bread since I was, oh, maybe 12, somewhere around there. I don’t remember how or why I got started, it just was something my mom encouraged, so I baked it often and I’m still making it today 30 some years later. (Now I’m telling my age!) Yikes!
This recipe makes a h-u-g-e batch, but I figure if I’m going to go to all this work, I may as well make it worthwhile right? So here it is, it makes 6 loaves. I slice it when its cool, eat one loaf-well, the whole family does, not just me-and freeze the rest. It freezes really well.
These are the ingredients-very basic ingredients-you all probably have them in your cupboard right now.
Dissolve 3 Tbsp. yeast in 5 cups warm water; set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a large, LARGE bowl, mix 3/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup honey, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. vinegar and 1 Tbsp. salt together by hand-I told you it takes elbow grease! Add yeast and water mixture and stir some more; add 15 cups of flour-a couple cups at a time-stir some more. When you get to about the 8th cup you’ll want to start mixing and kneading by hand. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and you can handle it well.
Place dough into a large greased bowl….
..like this. Cover and set in a warm place until dough has risen double its size.
I usually punch mine down and let it rise the second time. Why? I don’t know, I just do.
…separate the dough “evenly” into 6 blobs-I never can get them equal-
The easiest way for me to make loaves is to roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something like this is fine. Then roll it up, starting with the short end…
…tuck the ends under, and there you have your loaf! Place it in a greased bread pan…
…stick a fork all the way through gently throughout the loaf to pop any air bubbles that may have formed. You’ll have big holes in your bread if you don’t, then the jam will leak through, then you’ll have sticky fingers, then you’ll have to lick your fingers, then… well just do it, its better for ya!
I grease the top of each loaf also with shortening, this keeps it from getting too crusty. (If you prefer you can skip that step.) Once again set them in a warm place to rise. In an hour they should be doubled and…
…ready to bake. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. I use my convection oven and bake them all at once, but you can bake them the way your oven bakes best.
I baked mine for 30 minutes and I think its too dark so 25 minutes should be about right depending on your oven. Just keep an eye on ‘em-I was on the computer-what can I say?!
Carefully “dump” them from the pan onto a cooling rack. I lay them on their sides, why? I don’t know, I just always do. I also rub butter onto the tops while they’re still warm.
After they cool; slice….
…and eat. Okay I think I’ll go have a slice with some strawberry jam!
But first here’s the link to my homemade bread recipe in our family favorites!
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