Way Good Homemade Bread

       If I made this too often it wouldn't be good.  ..... for the hips I mean.  That's why I got rid of my bread machine.  It was too easy to make the bread and we ate way too much of it.  This tastes WAY good, so it's only made once in a while.   It takes a certain amount of effort, I have to plan ahead, but, that way we don't over do it.  The other reason I don't make it too often is because I make it with all white flour.  You can use a couple cups of whole wheat in it instead of white if you want.  I find it just makes it drier and doesn't keep as long.  I figure if I am only making it once in a while, at least it doesn't have any preservatives in it, and it's better than buying bread. 
     This recipe makes 6 loaves of bread.  Why go through all the hassle for 1 or 2 loaves?  If I bake them all, I hand some out to friends and neighbors.  Otherwise I will freeze the dough to make a fresh loaf another day.  This bread WILL make your meal special.......

Way Good Homemade Bread

1/4 c. yeast....................(I buy it bulk and keep it in the freezer)
2 c. warm water............(too hot will kill the yeast)
1/2 c. sugar or honey....(use a little less honey)
1 c. dry milk..................(another reason not to make it too often)
1 qt. warm water
1/2 c. lard or coconut oil
1/8 c. salt
12 c. flour......................(at least use unbleached :-)

In a super large 12 or 13 qt. bowl, mix the yeast, 2 c. of warm water, sugar/honey, and the dry milk.  Let it sit a couple of minutes.  Mix the lard/coconut oil in the 2 qts of warm water.  Let it melt some.  (it won't melt all the way) and pour into yeast mixture.  Add salt and flour.  Mix well with spoon or hand dough hook, or your dough hook on your processor.  When it is totally mixed, cover with a wet dish towel and let it rise to double.

Get the pans ready that you will be using.  I use regular bread pans, a french loaf pan, a small 4 loaf pan, or sometimes I just make it a rustic round loaf.  You could make them into buns too.  Spray the pans.

When done rising punch down and cut the dough with a knife, in half.  Flour your table so the dough won't stick when you are working it.  Pull out half and cut into three sections.  Work one section on the floured table, you can either stretch and pull the dough, or knead the dough for a good 10-15 times.  Keep sprinkling flour so things don't stick too bad.  Shape the loaf according to your pan shape and plop it in.  If it isn't beautiful -- who cares, it will taste wonderful!  Repeat with the other 5 loaves, unless you will be freezing some.  In that case, knead it, put it in a qt. size freezer bag, and immediately into the freezer. (don't wait for the others to get bagged up -- it will start raising right away)  These I will pretty much make into a rustic round loaf.

When all the loaves are in the pans, wet your dishcloth again and lay it over the top as they rise.  When they are 1/2 - 2/3 way up in the pans, turn on your oven to 350 degrees.  When your oven is hot, put in the bread and bake until the crust is golden brown and when you snap it with your finger it gives a little hollow sound.  When done, take out the pans and let cool a little while on cooling racks, but, the loaves have to come out of the pans soon or you will have a soggy bottom crust.  They should just pop out with a little nudge from a knife.  If they don't  --- just keep struggling until you drop the whole pan on the floor, and then it will just pop right out :-) --- on to the floor.  (That's what happened to me last time :-)

If you time this so the bread comes out of the oven hot just before supper ---- perfect.

Well, my day is getting away from me and I won't have time to actually make the bread today.  As soon as I do have time I will take pictures and re-post this for you.  Enjoy!!

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