Friday, June 12, 2009

Basic bread dough

This is my everyday recipe for bread dough. It will make 2 loaves or 2 dozen dinner rolls. You'll note that this can be prepared from just storage foods. If you prefer you can substitute 2 cups of regular milk for the 2C water and powdered milk.

2 Cups water
1/2 cup powdered milk
2 Tablespoons white sugar or honey
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon lard
1 Tablespoon or 1 packet active dry yeast
1Teaspoon sugar or honey
1/2 Cup warm water
6-7 cups flour

Add milk powder, sugar/honey, salt and lard to water, scald (heat til bubbles form on the side of the pan). Allow to cool to lukewarm (this generally takes 20-30 minutes)
Add sugar/honey to warm water then add yeast; stir to dissolve. You'll want to wait til your milk is cool enough to use or it will kill the yeast.
Gradually add the flour 1/2 cup at a time til the dough leaves the side of the bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes). Set aside in a lightly greased, covered bowl. Let rise until doubled. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2-3 hours depending on the weather and your yeast. Punch down and let rise til doubled again. This time will vary from 25 minutes to a couple hours again. Yeast is unpredictable, you just have to be patient with it - most of the time it will rise. I've had to leave bread overnight before but it does rise up eventually. Just keep it covered and keep checking it.
Once the second rise is completed turn the dough out onto your floured board. Shape into two loaves and place in greased pan. Allow it to rise til double again, usually about an hour.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until browned. Turn out on a cooling rack. Once cooled seal in zipper bags.

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