INGREDIENTS and DIRECTIONS:
1/2 cup warm water (not TOO warm, or it will ‘kill’ the yeast)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
Soften the yeast in the lukewarm water to which 1 tsp. sugar is added. Set aside until it’s bubbling up.
2 cups HOT water
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted (or very soft)
1/2 cup honey
4 cups all-purpose flour
6 (approximately) more cups all-purpose flour
Combine the water, milk, salt, butter and honey in a large mixing bowl. Add JUST the first 4 cups of the flour to the water/milk/honey mixture and beat together for 2-3 minutes. (Make sure this mixture isn’t ‘too hot’ before you move to the next step.)
Add the yeast mixture to the ‘rested’ beaten mixture, and mix well. Now, let this combination rest for 10-12 minutes so the ‘sticky’ (gluten) can form.
Of the next 6 cups of flour, add them one at a time– first stirring to incorporate, and then adding as needed when it gets to the kneading stage. Knead on a lightly floured surface.
Knead for 8-10 minutes until it is smooth and satiny.
Put kneaded dough ball into greased bowl, turn so that top is also greased. Cover lightly with Saran Wrap, and let rise until double in size. PUNCH down; let rise again. Divide dough into three balls and let them rest for 10 minutes before shaping each into a loaf (3 large loaves). Place in well-greased pans. Let rise until double.** Bake at 400-degrees for 10 minutes (to ‘set’ the loaf), and then at 350-degrees for about 25-30 minutes, OR until an inserted instant read thermometer shows between 190 and 200- degrees. (Experienced bakers give a few of the ‘knock, knock, who’s home’ on the loaf of bread and if it has a sort of hollow sound, they say it is done!)
If you want to get ‘technical’ in regards to the correct internal temperature of baking bread, you can find that kind information about varying kinds of breads right here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9
Remove from pans, and butter the tops. ENJOY!!!
*I started making this bread after first seeing a recipe by Mrs. Susan Martin, Romulus, NY, in a book I really appreciate having. It is a 1992 edition (I think) and entitled The Basics And More Cookbook by Virginia Hoover and Elsie Hoover. Immediately, as I often do, I made some changes to fit how I prefer to make/bake bread– using some milk, adding a bit of sugar to the yeast/water combination, using butter instead of shortening, and baking at a higher temperature for the first 10 minutes.
**I admit to always being in the ‘learning stage’, so…………Next time I make this, I’m going to try what was suggested on someones(?) bread making website. It was said that we can avoid having loaves sometimes ‘pull apart’ just above pan level while baking IF, just before putting it in the panggangan to bake, we’ll take a very sharp knife and make a couple of shallow slashes on the top so it can expand there. I just always figured the act of ‘slashing’ might make the dough ‘fall’. (????) I am going to have to get gutsy and try it next time. Well, … for the first time around, maybe I’ll try it with only ONE loaf! (LOL!) I just know I am going to have to make this bread again (soon) to see how it works out, and will keep you posted.
Source Recipe: http://milkmaidrecipebox.blogspot.com