Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
I fondly remember making bread with my late mother when I was a child. She made the best bread and cinnamon buns in the world! Each time I make bread to this day I still hear her voice.."you have to knead it untill it squeaks , then you know it will be good!" Well all her recipes were lost in a fire many years ago and I have devised this recipe, which my children adore. No...sadly I don't often make the dough squeak, but my children would squeal with delight when they would come home from school to warm homemade bread and butter with My strawberry jam! They would always fight for the crust! That makes it all worthwhile. This is an easy, versatile recipe and almost foolproof. Enjoy. Note: Prep time does not include the two rising times which would be approx 1 hour each. Neither the waiting time between oven fulls if you are making buns as they take more room in the oven than 4 loaves of bread. The directions seem lengthy but really they are just really simplified in case you have never made bread before!
- 2⁄3 cup warm water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- 3⁄4 cup vegetable oil, good quality
- 5 cups warm water
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 13 cups flour (can use 1/2 Whole Wheat)
- 2 cups flour (For kneading)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
- 2 teaspoons oregano (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup cheese (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- In a small bowl, disolve first 3 ingredients - being sure the water is only warm, so as not to kill the yeast.
- Let yeast mixture sit 5 - 10 min to rise.
- In a large bowl wisk together next 4 ingredients to disolve.
- Add yeast mixture to the bowl and wisk.
- Add in 13 cups flour 2 or 3 cups at a time and wisk - it will be gooey and sticky at this point --
- Now it is time to get dirty -- add 1 cup of the remaining 2 cups flour and knead it with your hands in the bowl at first, it will be really sticky, but persevere as it will release from your hands as you knead more flour into the dough.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour onto the clean countertop ( so the dough does not stick to counter) and turn the dough out on to countertop.
- Please be patient with me as I try to describe 'kneading' ( I cook I don't write! ).
- Face the counter and fold the dough over and place the heels of your hands on the dough and push dough down and somewhat forward. With your fingertips grab and secure the farthest edge of the dough and pull it up towards yourself and fold on top of itself. Give it a quarter turn and repeat the fold, push and turn motions untill dough is of the right smooth and elastic consistiency.
- Knead for 4 - 10 min untill the dough is no longer sticky but soft and smooth. Add a bit more flour as required for right consistiency and to avoid the dough getting stuck on the counter,.
- You should end up with a soft 'ball' of bread dough.
- Put the 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil in a bowl at least twice the size of your dough, place your dough upside down in the oil and spin gently to coat dough.
- Turn dough over and cover with a damp tea towel.
- Allow dough to sit for approx 1 hour in a draft free area untill it has doubled in size. (in the cold oven with a pan of hot water on the bottom rack will speed things up a bit too.).
- When dough is doubled, poke your two fingers into the dough and if your finger dimples remain it is ready to punch down.
- With your fists gently 'punch' the air out of the dough.
- Turn dough out on to the counter.
- With a sharp knife divide evenly into 4 loaf size portions and shape accordingly.
- Alternately you can shape one portion or more into 12 buns for each.
- (I will incorporate cheese or herbs sometimes for a really great dinner bun.).
- Place shaped loaves or buns loosley in a pan sprayed with Pam or like product . leaving enough room to double again as it rises. (about an hour).
- Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees F and bake for 30-40 minute Buns are usually about 30 min, bread a bit longer.
- To check doneness, bread should be golden brown and when you tap on the top of the loaf with your fingertip, listen for a hollow sound.
- Remove from oven placing on wire rack.
- If desired you can melt the 1 tsp butter with the 1 tsp.sugar and the 2 Tbsp milk and give the tops of the bread/buns a light glazing with a pastry brush. This creates a softer crust with a touch of sweetness and a nice shine. Some will prefer a crispier natural crust.
- Allow bread to remain in pans for 10 minute then remove from pan turn out gently on to a wire rack.(not upside down).
- Don't wait too long before the next steps -- your delicious bread might get too cold -- so.
- Grab the butter --
- Grab the Jam --
- Grab a cup of Coffee --
- Grab a Loved one --
- And dig into your loaf of yummy homemade bread!