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How To Make Homemade Bread

Author: Crystal

Ingredients

  • -5-6 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • -1 ½ tbsp Instant Rise Yeast
  • -¼ cup honey
  • -¼ cup shortening
  • – 1¾ cup warm milk – about 110 ° water is fine too
  • – 1 large egg slightly beaten
  • – 1 tsp salt – kosher is best

Instructions

  • Cube the shortening and put it in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the flour, honey and yeast and blend together. I like to use a wooden spoon here to mix and break up the lumps of shortening as I’m blending. The dough will be messy and chunky from the shortening and honey and that is normal. Just combine as best you can, it will smooth out more as you add the wet ingredients.
  • Add the milk, egg, salt and another cup of flour. Mix to combine.
  • Dump the dough mixture onto countertop (it will be a lumpy sticky mess) and continue to blend by hand. Knead the dough, adding a dusting of flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to you and the counter.
  • Knead dough for 8 – 10 minutes or until you have a nice smooth ball. It should not be sticky any longer.
  • Place the dough in large bowl coated with olive oil (roll the dough around a few times to coat it with oil too) and cover with a clean towel. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free area to rise. It should double in size in about one and a half hours.
  • Punch down (squish and push the dough back down into the bowl) and divide the dough in half. Shape each half into loaves by rolling into a long tube (tuck in and pinch the ends) and placing in greased 8” loaf pans. Cover with the clean towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for another hour, until double in size.
  • Remove towels, make a quick slash on the top of the loaves only (lengthwise) with a serrated knife and bake in preheated 400°F oven, center rack, for 30 minutes. Tap the top crust and it should sound hollow. Remove from pans almost immediately and rub butter on the top of the loaves for a softer crust. Allow to cool before cutting.