Prep 3 hrs
Cook 20 mins
This is the bread recipe I've been using for years, from the wonderful cookbook "Food that Really Schmecks" by Edna Staebler. She is no longer with us, but her wonderful cookbooks will live on. There are many variations included in this bread recipe, but I will just list the basic one, and you can feel free to play with it*.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons traditional yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1⁄2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil or 1⁄2 cup melted shortening
- 9 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large warmed pottery bowl place the first 1 cup of lukewarm water. Dissolve into it 1 t. white sugar and sprinkle the yeast over it.
- After about 10 minutes the yeast should be frothy and have risen to the surface of the water. Stir until blended, making sure all the yeast is dissolved.
- Into the yeast mixture stir the remaining water, white sugar,1 heaping T. of salt and oil.
- Beat, then stir in, 1 cup at a time, the flour.
- Mix until it requires muscle. You may not need all the flour. The dough should hang together and be easy to handle, but still a little moist.
- On a floured surface, place the dough, sprinkle with more flour as needed, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. This usually takes about 8 minutes.
- Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic and a nice heavy towel, and let rise in a warm draft free place. ( I usually only bake bread on sunny days.).
- Let dough rise for 1-2 hours or until it's doubled in size. When you stick your finger in the dough the imprint should remain.
- Punch the dough down and form into loaves.
- Place the loaves into well greased loaf pans, cover and let rise again- about an hour.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until golden top and bottom, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove from pans and let cool on a rack.
- * To make hamburger buns,roll about 1/2 inch thick, cut the dough with a wide glass(I use the top of a martini shaker)and place buns on a greased cookie sheet, not quite touching. I usually add a good portion of grated old cheddar cheese to the dough before cutting the rounds and letting it rise for the second time. Just before baking at 425 for 10-15 minutes, I make an egg wash with one egg mixed with 1 T. water and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or for a real treat Montreal Steak Spice. They freeze very well. Makes about 20 buns.
I've been using this bread recipe since the mid 70s. I normally use unbleached white flour, occasionally half mixed with whole wheat. I use Quick Rise yeast and I cut back on the sugar a bit. I don't like to keep flour sitting around too long so I no longer buy the large bags.<br/>This recipe has never let me down and several healings have been reported by people I've given it to although, to be honest, I've lost a few too.
This is the recipe I ALWAYS use, I'm a big fan of Edna Staebler's books, being from nearby Waterloo. This recipe never fails on me, it always ends up being soft and moist bread inside, a good crust, and never and problems with the rising process, and a very workable dough. Oh, and if you get into More Food That Really Schmecks, you'll find out about the no-kneading variation to this recipe, which is extra nice.
This is excellent bread. I have alot of experience with bread and this is one of the best recipes ever. The dough handles well and the loaves are very high with an excellent crust.