One of my favorite things to do is bake bread. I love it. It just is so warm, inviting, comforting and yummy. No wonder it's been a staple in our diet for so many centuries...I think God knit the need for this amazing food into our very souls--at least He did into mine. I have made so many different kinds of bread and it's been a great experience. They haven't all turned out. Numerous times I have forgotten to add salt (which turns out a very bland bread) mostly because I've been trying to do too many things at once, and other times I've let it rise too long and it ended up in a puddle of goodness all over my counter. But even with the blunders, it's all fun for me. When I'm in a bad mood I usually try to bake something. It usually puts a smile on my face. My neighbor says that "It's amazing what a little flour and sugar can do for the soul!"
A few years back I started making our sandwich bread because it was cheap and after making the first batch, I just couldn't buy bread again--it was just too good. This is seriously the best sandwich bread and it's so easy to make. You can really mess it up and it still comes out well. It can take a beating. I'm not saying all of you need to start making your own bread and grinding your own flour or anything. But really, it's a treat. You should try it. Your children will thank you. Mine can't eat it fast enough. And you may find that you like making it more than you thought you would.
Cheers to all the peanut butter and jelly's yet to be made!
Hot Providence Cookbook
By Rachel Jankovic
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey
4 tsp. salt
5 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
13-14 c. flour
2 tbsp. yeast
Just a note: I usually half this recipe and make it two loaves at a time. It works just fine. You can make the full recipe and you'll get four regular size loaves. My KitchenAid (I have the biggest size) can barely pull off the full recipe. If you have the standard size, I would suggest halving the recipe.
Mix together all the sloppy stuff, yeast and salt in mixer or large bowl. Add some flour and let sit a few minutes to proof the yeast. Feel free to add leftover cooked oatmeal (if you have any) at this stage. Add the rest of the flour and knead until a soft dough forms. You will probably have to add more flour. Put it into a large greased bowl. Flip the dough over to grease the top, cover and let sit somewhere warm for about an hour. Punch it down. Separate into four balls. Lightly flour your counter and roll each loaf out into a rectangle about 18 inches long and as wide as your pan is long. Roll up snugly, avoiding air bubbles. Pinch to seal the ends and the bottom seam of the loaf. Set the loaves in the greased pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and bottom thumps a hollow sound. Cool on racks, and either eat immediately or freeze, or both.
Note: This bread is very flexible- feel free to go all whole wheat or all white. You can also add a couple eggs, substitute brown sugar for the honey, or add powdered milk.
This recipe is in the Hot Providence cookbook which is one of my favorites but is out of print! I hope you enjoy your bread. If you have any questions about making it, leave a comment and I'll help you if I can.