Bread making time! 🙂
3 cups warm water
2 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 – 10 cups of flour
Put warm water, sugar and salt in a LARGE bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Wait until yeast kind of bubbles and looks a little gross (should take about 5 to 10 min). Like this:
Then add in the oil and eggs, stir it a little.
Next add about half the flour, stir it in…then add flour one cup at a time until a goopy-ish dough starts to form. Once it gets dough-y, flop it our onto a floured counter top and knead in a little more flour, until it is a slightly sticky ball of dough.
Spray the bowl with oil and put the dough in it…spray top of dough with oil. It should look something like this:
Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. It should rise for at least an hour, sometimes two…if you are very impatient (like me) put your oven on the lowest temp, open the door and stick the bowl of dough on the door of the open oven…much speedier. Once it has risen it should look something like this:
See the two indentations on my bread? You should NOT have these…this is what it looks like when our very special cat decides to step on the towel covering the bread…not nice. I am just very glad it didn’t fall.
Once the bread has risen, then punch it down, knead for a minute, and divide it into three equal hunks. Like this:
My hunks are not always equal, but I give it my best shot. Then divide each of the three hunks into three more hunks, make those three smaller hunks into snakes, and braid.
Tuck the ends of the braid underneath the loaf and let them rise for 30 minutes or so…until they are puffy.
Once the loaf has puffed, put it in a 375 degree oven ONE AT A TIME! I have no idea why, but they do not work with more than one in there…
If you are feeling fancy, and want a shiny loaf of bread, mix one egg white with a tablespoon or so of water. Then about 20 minutes into cooking the bread, brush the top of the loaf with this egg/water mixture. (you can also sprinkle with sesame seeds, salt, or whatever else you decide you like on the top of bread)….
Cook 25 to 30 minutes until the top is light brown.
For a recap:
Put 3 cups warm water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl, sprinkle 2 pkg. of yeast on top. Wait until it bubbles.
Add 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, stir
Add 4 to 5 cups of flour, stir. Add flour 1 cup at a time until dough gets goopy (about 3 or 4 more cups).
Turn dough out onto floured counter top, knead in more flour (usually about a cup) until slightly sticky dough forms.
Put dough back into the bowl that has been sprayed with oil, spray top of dough with oil after it is placed in the bowl.
Cover, let rise.
Punch down dough, chop into three equal hunks, divide each of those hunks into three hunks…make into snakes and braid. Tuck ends under loaf, cover, let rise until puffy.
Bake loaves one at a time in 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until brown (optional water/egg wash for shiny finish
Variations: * add chocolate chips, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix for french toast
* sprinkle top with dry Italian dressing mix for garlic-ish bread
This is a great, easy, all purpose bread recipe!
Merry Christmas everyone!
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”