This is another recipe which is a method rather than a formula. The simplest bread is "Italian bread", made with water, salt, olive oil, yeast and flour. If you want a sandwich bread which will stay fresh a little longer, make it with potato water and/or milk. The way I make milk based bread is roughly like this:
Four loaves in bread pans or free style baked on cookie sheets:
Proof 2 Tablespoons of dry yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. When yeast starts to foam, but before it overflows, mix
2 cups of boiling water
1 1/3 cups of dry skimmed milk.
Combine and stir with a whisk to dissolve all lumps of milk.
2 cups cold water
1/4-1/2 cup soft shortening or margarine or oil
1-2 Tablespoons of salt
1/4 cup sugar
If you wish, you may start the dough by using a full quart of boiling water, then adding 1 cup oatmeal to the hot, reconstituted milk and allowing the whole to cool to lukewarm before adding the rest of the ingredients. Use molasses or honey instead of sugar, and use equal parts of bread flour and whole wheat flour to make your kneadable dough.
To make white bread I use equal parts of bread flour and all-purpose flour. I usually add at least half a cup of wheat germ. To make whole wheat bread, use equal parts of bread flour and whole wheat flour. In any case, stir in as much flour as you can with a spoon to make a dough you can beat vigorously for a hundred strokes or so, then continue to add flour to the point where it can be kneaded by hand. I knead my bread dough directly in my large mixing bowl. You may be more comfortable kneading it on a flat surface. Add more flour in small (1/2 cup) quantities and knead vigorously until all flour is absorbed and dough is no longer terribly sticky. Expect this to take between five and ten minutes, though longer maybe for more exotic combinations of flours. For a quart of milk in the beginning, plus a cup of yeast water, you will need at least five pounds of flour. Every additional cup of liquid will need about a pound of flour and will make one more loaf of bread, or enough dough for about a dozen English muffins or a sheet full of bread sticks. Using oatmeal or whole wheat flour uses slightly more liquid. When you have produced a firm and supple dough which "cleans" sticky bits off your hands and stands alone in a ball, cover it with a clean dish cloth and allow to rise for an hour or so. You may punch it down & allow another hour if life is too busy. Grease four loaf tins or sprinkle corn meal on two baking sheets. Cut the dough in four parts. For each part, firmly push down and break all large bubble, then roll into round loaf shape. Press into loaf pans or place on layer of corn meal. Cover again and allow to rise for an hour or until doubled. If you have planned extra dough for bread sticks, roll them out and bake them without rising as described in the Pizza dough recipe, while the loaf breads are rising. The dough should round gently over the top of the loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 375E for loaf pans and 400E for baking sheets.
Bake loaf pans breads until they are evenly brown and firm. Some people knock on the loaf and listen for a hollow sound. I turn them out of the pan & look to see if the bottom is browned. It should take 35 - 40 minutes to bake a full sized loaf in a bread tin.
Bread baked on a cookie tin will cook a little faster. When you first put the bread into the oven, throw half a cup of cold water on the oven flour. Check the bread after about twenty minutes and remove it from the sheet to finish baking directly on the oven rack. It will be done when evenly browned and crusty.
This information was placed on the web by Thomas J. Sienkewicz. If you have any questions about this document, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.