August 16, 2008, 3:41 pm
Filed under: cooking | Tags: , ,

One thing I am not great at is cooking. I have made homemade bread several times in my adulthood and each and every time it would end up hard as a rock in a day. I have studied technique, shuffled thorough endless recipes and tried the best flour money could buy. All to no avail. I once had notions of attending a cooking school and pursuing a career in the field. But now it just seems worthless to even try, it’s another of life’s joys that I just don’t have the knack for.

Until two days ago.

I discovered a cookbook at the library full of Amish recipes (The Amish Cook by Elizabeth Coblentz and Kevin Williams) and the picture of bread in it is enough to make you drool. It looked so yummy I had to make it right away, and I did. And it WORKED! Since it worked so well I am going to try it with a whole wheat flour next because in case you haven’t noticed whole grain breads cost an arm and a leg these days. And I can barely afford them! I can easily drop a twenty on just bread alone in one week. For my family to have toasted cheese for lunch we go through almost an entire loaf of bread. French toast, BLT’s, you name it if it involves bread it goes fast around here. I have been looking for a way to cut costs in this department and the milk aisle. I don’t have anywhere to keep a cow so that is not going to be an easy venture.

Anyway, here is the recipe for the bread, bon appetit!

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 cups warm water or milk
1 heaping tablespoon of shortening or lard
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
7 to 8 cups all purpose flour

In a small bowl, dissolve  yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water. In a large mixing bowl, combine lard, sugar,salt, and the remaining 2 cups of water. Into the mixing bowl, stir the yeast and enough flour to make a soft elastic dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Cover the dough with a loose piece of cheesecloth or plastic wrap and let rise till double about one and a half hours in a warm draft free place.
Punch dough down and divide into two balls. Shape into loaves and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise about another forty five to sixty minutes. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. The bread will sound hollow when it’s done. After removing the bread from the oven brush the top with butter, this makes a softer crust.


1 Comment so far
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i haven’t had much success with bread, but I suspect it is due to lack of practice. You kneed to practice a lot to get it just right.

Comment by urspo

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