Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
When I was very young, my mom made and sold this bread in our small town. The smell of homemade bread really takes me back to my childhood. She still makes bread for her co-workers as a holiday gift. While this bread can be made by hand, mom always uses a bread mixer to ensure sufficient kneading (the key to the perfect texture). If you must make the bread by hand, be prepared for a 15-minute upper-body workout!
- 6 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄3 cup yeast
- 16 -20 cups white flour or 16 -20 cups wheat flour
- Put water, salt, sugar, oil and yeast in bread mixer (use the paddle rather than whisk attachment).
- Mix until yeast is dissolved.
- Add a few cups of flour and begin mixing. If preparing bread by hand, the first few cups of flour can be mixed in the bowl with a spool. However, you will need to remove dough from the bowl and begin mixing by hand once it becomes thicker.
- Continue adding flour until the dough becomes smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. You'll need less flour for white bread than you will for whole wheat flour--or you can use any combination of both. My mom sold a lot of half and half bread. If kneading by hand, the dough should stick to your hands slightly. Coating your hands with oil/shortening will help keep the dough from sticking too much.
- Continue mixing on high speed for 7 more minutes. If kneading by hand, work the dough for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into five equal portions.
- Form each loaf and put into a greased loaf pan.
- Let loaves rise to desired height--or double in size for best results.
- Cook for 5 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook 35 minutes more.
- Bread is done when the top is golden to dark brown and has a hollow sound when tapped.
- Immediately remove from pans and butter tops of loaves.
- Cool on a rack, or enjoy a fresh slice of warm, homemade bread with butter and strawberry jam.