Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
This is my favorite yeasted bread recipe. I got it from Marcy Goldman's Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (The New Bread, or Whallah). It is the first bread recipe I had actually turn out! I live in Colorado, which is higher elevation than most places, so I had to figure out how to adjust recipes. I'm leaving the ingredients the way the recipe was, since most people are closer to sea level. For anyone interested: better flour makes better bread. I buy the expensive organic flour at the local health food store for bread and use cheaper flour for cookies and quick breads.
- Combine the yeast, warm water, and the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or honey. Let it stand until it is fully dissolved. It should divide (watching yeast grow is cool!) and look frothy.
- Add the oil, sugar, salt, and malt syrup. Since I use turbinado sugar or honey, I try to make sure the sugar is dissolved or the honey melted through before I add flour.
- Slowly add the flour (about one cup at a time) mixing well between each addition. Use your hands to mix it once it gets stiff, if you want. I like getting elbow deep when I make bread. In higher elevations, it takes seven cups of flour.
- The bread should feel smooth and velvety.
- Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes (in higher elevations, it definitely takes the full 8). The dough should be firm, but soft. When you poke at it, it slowly regains its shape, but is still dented.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Put it in a well greased bowl and cover it. I like to put the bowl in a plastic bag and then throw a towel over the top. Let it rise until doubled in bulk. This should be around 45 minutes.
- Again, for anyone else in higher elevations, we have to change it. This bread does better if you coat your hands in oil and lightly coat the top of the bread. Also, it takes more like an hour to rise.
- Punch the dough. Shape it however you like. The recipe calls for three balls placed in a 12x5 inch pan together, or side by side on a baking sheet. This bread works well for hamburger buns, meat pastie rolls, just about anything, so have fun!
- Just make sure to coat the pan with oil, or use parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Let rise again until doubled. Same thing - cover the bowl in a plastic bag and a towel and let it be. This takes 45 minutes in higher elevations, probably closer to half an hour at lower elevations.
- Preheat oven to 375 f.
- Remove bread from the plastic and bake for 30-35 minutes.
I used this for the Autumn Meat Pasties and it was perfect! I subbed whole wheat flour for 1/2 the flour without a noticeable problem. I also used olive oil in place of plain old vegetable oil. The dough was very stiff to knead and I kept looking at my timer to see if the recommended time had elapsed. Those 6 minutes lasted forever, but the result was well worth the effort.