Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Basic Bread

This bread seems to be fool-proof, turning out nice loaves that are hard to resist right out of the oven and slice well for sandwiches. It makes the most amazing french toast!

Basic Bread

6 cups HOT water
2/3 cup oil (olive oil or canola)
2/3 cup honey (sugar is fine)
1 to 2 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten (Found near flour in grocery store. Wheats have different protein content and this ingred helps your bread to rise uniformly)
1/2 cup powdered milk (optional)
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 T. yeast
2 T. salt
10 cups flour (Whole wheat, or mix with white flour to your family's taste)

Mix hot water, oil, honey, Vital Wheat Gluten, powdered milk, and first 6 cups of flour. At this point the batter should be lukewarm so it doen't kill the yeast. Add yeast.

Gently mix to blend and then let it sit to sponge about 10 min. Add salt.

While stirring gradually add additional flour until the dough begins to "clean" the bowl. If the sough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, continue to add flour. Your can test for enough flour by gently touching dough with your finger. If cough sticks to your finger, add flour and keep kneading. When dought barely does not stick to finger, stop adding flour.

Knead on low speed for 8 min. Turn dough onto oiled surface (do not use flour). Turn dough a couple of times to coat with oil. Cut dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a loaf and place in a sprayed bread pan. Cover and let dough rise 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. A great place for bread to rise is under the lights on your range.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake loaves for 26 to 28 min. Remove from oven and brush tops with butter. Let loaves sit 5 to 10 min. before removing from pans. Cool on a wire rack.
(Recipe from "The Essential Food Storage Cookbook")

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