Recently I’ve been experimenting with bread-making.  For some years, husband Bill has been the chief bread-maker, though I did and wold make bread from time to time.  I’ve made sourdough bread, and used the leftover starter to make pancakes and other tasty treats, and my now I make my famous (in the family) five loaf batches once a week.  I don’t use the bread maker to make it, (it’s a little too big for that) but it doesn’t take too much arm work.  It’s very forgiving so you don’t need to hang about while it is rising either in the bowl or in the tins prior to baking.  

In a bowl place

3 cups warm water

3 tablespoons of yeast 

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of honey or sugar

3 cups flour

Mix well, set aside and allow to form a sponge – a sort of bubbly mess. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

In separate bowl or jar mix together

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup honey or sugar

1 cup oil of your choice

When sponge has formed pour oil mixture in and stir.

Start adding flour 2 cups at a time. You can use any flour. I sometimes use 1/2 fresh ground wheat and 1/2 unbleached white bread flour.  In total you will have used about 13 cups of flour.

Add flour until dough is slightly sticky but well formed.

Set aside and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Place on well-floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes  until smooth and elastic.

Place in oiled bowl and allow to double and a half.  Cover with a tea towel.

bread 1
The dough after it has grown to about 2.5 times its original size

After it has risen punch the dough down.  Form the dough into 4 or 5 loaves and again allow to double and a half. Slit the tops of each loaf. This allows for a more even rise.

Bake at about 175 C for 28 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow.  Be careful if your loaf tins are different sizes and check on the smallest loaf first.

That’s it!  Enjoy

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