I had a lot of questions about this recipe and people asking for it, so here it is!
Enjoy! Maybe you can make it today, since it seems winter is here again with full fury for all of us!!! We were in shorts yesterday with the windows open, then last night, a big gust of wind blew all the things off my window seals, so I closed them. 2 hours later when I went out-it was FREEZING!! Great baking weather:)
I have been making this recipe for 10 years now-I put my tips in, but you can do it your own way too!
2 packages of active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
2 cups of warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of salt (I use sea salt)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I use olive oil and up it to 1/3 cup of oil. It makes
it more moist and the olive oil gives it a better flavor)
6 1/2-7 cups of flour, divided
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water (tip #1). Add sugar, salt, eggs, oil, and 3 cups of flour; beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth (tip #2). Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn on to heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (tip #3). Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. (I heavily coat the bowl and dough in olive oil with my hands). Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into 2 loaves. Place in two greased (more olive oil for me:) 9 in. x 5 in. x 3 in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown (tip #4). Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Enjoy!!! (let cool a few minutes before you slice it)
-Tip #1-Some of you said that you always ‘kill’ your yeast. I used to do that all the time too! If your yeast is too cold, it won’t activate, if its too hot-it will die. Both will result in flat bread you have to throw away:( This is what I do, and I have not killed any yeast since. I turn my faucet on to “hot”. I have my measuring cup in one hand and put my finger under the running water with the other. I wait for the water to go from cold, to warm, to warmer, to right when it starts to get hot and put my cup underneath it. It needs to be on the hot side, but not too hot to touch.
-Tip #2-If you have a Kitchen Aide mixer, this recipe will be a lot less messy for you! I put on my whisk attachment for this part and add only 1 cup of flour, until all the ingredients are mixed. Then I add my dough hook, and slowly add the rest of the flour and let it knead it for me!
-Tip #3- I usually end up using a little more flour than the recipe calls for since my dough tends to get sticky long before the kneading time is up.
-Tip #4-I have made this bread in many different ovens and it has never been perfectly done by 25-30 min. It usually starts to brown long before the time is up, but if you pulled it out, it would be very doughy inside. Around the time it starts to brown (maybe around 20 min), I open the oven and loosely put a piece of foil on top of the 2 loaves, curving the foil around the sides a little so it will stay on, but not burning myself! I have then cooked it for up to 35-40 min. depending on the oven.
This recipe is from The Complete Guide to Country Cooking by Taste of Homes, 1998 edition. This is my favorite cookbook, I use it all the time for dinner ideas and baking recipes. If you want one, there are a lot on ebay, and you can find one for under $10 with shipping.
if you are a visual person, you can use the photos from the last post to help you along