Baking bread in your kitchen is probably one of THE best aromas anyone can encounter. Maybe you associate it with a special dinner or maybe mom made it every week or just for the holidays. This time both my kids will be home and the young men down the street will be raking my leaves for me so I promised a nice dinner for them.
We don’t use a bread machine when we bake bread. In this case since the recipe makes quite a few loaves it’s impossible to even use your electric mixer due to the volume of flour (5 pounds). Always use BREAD FLOUR as it supposed to have more protein in it for a better texture for the bread. [Finecooking.com]
One of my favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, has a scene in it where Mary Bailey is giving the Martini family a house warming gift and she says:
“Bread – that this house may never know hunger.
Salt – that life may always have flavor.
Wine – that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”
Since the recipe makes a lot of loaves, you too may want to share. My mother and father-in-law make this when ever there’s a crowd.
Traditional White Bread
- 5 pounds Bread Flour
- 5 cups water
- 1 stick margarine
- 5 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 packages of yeast (always check the date!)
Using a 4 cup Pyrex liquid measure, melt the margarine in 1 cup water in the microwave. Set aside.
Using a medium sized bowl, proof the yeast by pouring 2 cups of 110° water (from your tap) over the yeast and sugar, dissolving both with a wire whisk. Let the mixture set for five minutes. You should see the mixture foam significantly (see picture).
In a really big bowl mix the salt into the flour then make a well in the flour. Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the Pyrex mixture. Add the yeast mixture to the flour stirring a little, then add the remaining liquids. Use your wooden spoon till you can’t turn it over any longer. With clean hands mix till you get dough.
Roll the dough out onto a slightly floured surface. Work the dough till pliable. Wash your large bowl then oil it. Round up the dough and place it in the oiled bowl. Coat the dough with the oil in the bowl by rolling it around. Cover it for an hour witha bread towel till it doubles in size.
Punch the dough down after it doubles. Kneed the air out of the dough on your surface. Depending on the bread pans you have, (1 pound or 1 ½ pound) is how you’ll weigh the dough. In my pictures I have two different sizes and you adjust accordingly. I spray my pans with Pam. Measure the quantity (1 pound/1 1/2 pound depending upon your pan). Using your hands press the dough out to resemble a rectangle about the length of your pan. Roll the dough up and with the open end down place into your bread pan.
Cover with a bread towel and let raise for an hour. Preheat your oven to 350°. I have goldstone bakeware that is really good bakeware making baking time less. Place your dough into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 300° and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the bread from the pans and place on the oven rack and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool off on a wire rack.
When cutting bread use a bread knife. Store bread in plastic bags, if you can keep it around long enough.