|2 tablespoons||Vegetable shortening or butter|
|1 cup||Lukewarm water; (105~-115~)|
|2 packs||Dry yeast|
|6 cups||Bread or all-purpose flour; approximately (up to 7)|
|1 tablespoon||Butter; melted|
Baking pans: 2 medium (8-½"x4-½") loaf pans, greased ot Teflon.
By hand or mixer: 8 minutes. Warm the milk in a saucepan to soften the shortening or butter for a few moments. Add the salt and the lukewarm water. Add the yeast and sugar and stir to dissolve.
Stir in 2 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed in an electric mixer or 150 strong strokes with a wooden spoon. Gradually add 2 more cups flour, and continue beating for 3 minutes--or 150 strokes.
Note: While the entire mixing and kneading mixing and kneading operation can be done in the electric mixer, I like to judge the feel of the dough by hand before turning the job over to a dough hook.) Turn off the mixer and add about 2 more cups flour. Work it in with a spoon, and when it becomes stiff, with your hands. When the dough has a rough form and is cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl, turn it out on the floured work surface.
Knead for about 8 minutes with a strong push-turn-fold motion. Occasionally throw the dough hard against the work surface (stimulates the gluten). Or replace the dough in the mixer bowl and put under the dough hook for an equal length of time.
By processor: 10 minutes. Place 2 cups flour in the work bowl and then add the other ingredients, as above. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix.
Remove the cover and add 2 more cups flour. Replace the cover and pulse to blend. Add remaining flour through feed tube, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to room and is carried around the bowl by the force of the blade. Turn on the machine to knead for 45 seconds.
Shaping: 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half, and shape the balls. Let rest under a cloth for 5 minutes. Form the loaves by pressing each (with your palm or rolling pin) into an oval, roughly the length of the baking pan. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam tightly to seal, tuck under the ends, and place seam down in the pan. Brush the loaves with the melted butter.
Rising: 30 minutes. Place the pans in a cold oven and turn heat to 400~ for 60 seconds--1 minute, no more. Turn it off! Baking: 400~ 45 minutes: About 30 minutes later turn the oven to 400~ and bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaves are brown. When done, they will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom crust with the forefinger. If the crust is soft, return to the oven, without the pans, for 10 minutes. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50~).
Final step: Place the loaves on a metal rack to cool. The bread is fine for sandwiches and toast. It also freezes very well. Source: Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads
Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by "M. Hicks" <nitro_ii@...> on Feb 13, 1998
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