Recipe of the month – April 1, 2010

I have always enjoyed working with yeast doughs. Here is a basic Homemade White Bread Recipe that I use. Of course I make changes to it depending on what we or our friends are hungry for!!

I mix this in my 5 quart kitchen aid mixer. Or for a double batch I mix it by hand.

3 cup lukewarm water

2 Tablespoons dry yeast ( or 2 1/2 packets)

1/3 cup white sugar —  mix these three items together and let set for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is working and it is all bubbly.

Then add – 1/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 Tablespoons salt

Then keep adding approx. 2 1/2 pounds of all purpose flour.

Use the dough hook that comes with your mixer or if mixing by hand stir well. Do not add all the flour at one time … after adding the first 2 pounds of flour,  just add about 1/2 cup at a time … as you don’t want to add too much flour. You will want the dough to not be too sticky when you touch it… neither do you want it to be tough feeling. Knead it for 5 minutes if making by hand or at least 3 minutes by mixer.

Put it in a well greased bowl and set it in a draft free warm place to raise until doubled in size.  Divide the dough into 4 dough hunks. Work with your hands until a nice loaf is formed. Then put your bread dough in greased bread pans. Let it rise again until doubled and the bread pan feels lighter when you lift it. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake your bread for 20 to 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove it from the oven. Remove it from the pans. Place the loaves on a wire rack. Brush butter on the tops. And let cool!

Now here comes the fun part!!

Other Suggestions:

Instead of water use cooked potato water, coffee, tomato juice or whey

Instead of white sugar use: brown sugar or honey or molasses

For the shortening use: butter, crisco,  margarine, oil, chicken grease, lard,

For the white flour use up to 2 cups of : whole wheat flour, wheat bran, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, oatmeal softened in water(precooked), rye flour, flax seed meal, whole flax seed, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cocoa, cooked brown rice.

I have found my own concoction of the above that we like the best!!

For wheat and flax bread  – 1 Tablespoon of flax seed, 1 heaping teaspoon of flax meal, and whole wheat flour.

For raisin bread add cooked raisins – ground or whole and cinnamon.

For poppy seed bread one Tablespoon of poppy seeds.

For cheddar cheese bread add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

For tomato bread use tomato juice for instead of water and add italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.

For rye bread use rye flour,cocoa, coffee, and caraway seeds.