A Recipe For 6 Loaves Of Perfect Bread

6 Loaves Of Bread

6 Loaves Of Bread

I bake bread about once every three weeks or so and I thought you might like to see the recipe that I use. It’s an older recipe that I’ve modified a little and lends itself to different flour alterations and combinations.


I like this recipe because it makes 6 good size loaves and keeps me out of the kitchen for longer periods of time.

• 2 cups of milk

• ¾ cup of sugar

• 8 teaspoons of salt

• 1 ½ sticks of butter

• 6 cups warm water (105° – 115 ° F.)

• 4 tablespoons loose yeast or 4 pkgs. active dry yeast

• 24 cups unsifted flour (more or less depending on the weather conditions)* See below for flour alterations and combinations

PREPARE THE LIQUIDS

Heat the milk, sugar, salt and butter in a large sauce pan until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Cool to lukewarm.

Melting Butter With Milk, Sugar & Salt

Melting Butter With Milk, Sugar & Salt

Measure the warm water in to a very large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast & stir well until dissolved.

MIX IN THE FLOUR

Add the lukewarm milk mixture and 12 cups of flour to the soften yeast water.

Stir In Flour To Liquid Mixture

Stir In Flour To Liquid Mixture

Beat the mixture until smooth. Add enough of the additional flour (you’ll stay safe if you add 10 -11 cups of flour and then add more if needed – 23- 24 cups of flour in total ) to make stiff dough. It’s better that the dough be too sticky at first rather than too stiff. You can always knead in more flour if you must.

KNEAD THE DOUGH

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board, canvas or counter top and knead well until smooth and elastic. It usually takes about 10  minutes.

LET THE DOUGH RISE

Place the kneaded dough into a well greased bowl and turn it once in the bowel to grease the top. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm place free from a drafts until it has doubled in bulk – usually about 1 hour in a warm room.

Bread Rising The First Time In A Large Bowl

Bread Rising The First Time In A Large Bowl

After the dough has risen, punch it down and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Punched Down Dough

Punched Down Dough

SHAPE THE LOAVES & LET THE DOUGH RISE AGAIN IN THE BREAD PANS

After it has rested divide the dough in to 6 equal pieces. Now shape the loaves.

Rolled Out Dough To Shape Into Loaves

Rolled Out Dough To Shape Into Loaves

To shape the loaves roll each piece out into about a 14 X 9 inch rectangle using a lightly floured rolling pin.Use a gentle but firm pressure on the rolling pin to get all of the air bubbles out of the dough.

Beginning with the upper short side of the rectangle, roll the dough towards or away from you (which ever you prefer) and seal the dough with your thumbs or fingers. You want to seal the side ends of the dough and fold sealed the ends under.

Next place loaves into 6 well greased loaf pans and pat the dough down firmly into the pans. Cover the pans with a clean cloth and allow them to rise again in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in bulk – about 1 to 1 ½ hours (my house is very cool).

Covered Loafs Of Bread Rising In A Warm Location

Covered Loafs Of Bread Rising In A Warm Location

Please note that these rising times are approximate. In the winter time my house is usually about 60F degrees and your house may be much warmer. The best tasting bread comes from loaves that take a longer time to rise in a cool location.

Whole Wheat Bread That Has Risen In Bread Pans

Whole Wheat Bread That Has Risen In Bread Pans

Bread that rises too fast or too long in a warm location will have a very yeasty taste that most people do not like.

BAKE THE LOAVES

When the loaves have double in bulk bake them at 400° F for about 30 minutes or until done.

2 Loaves Of Bread In Cook Stove Oven

2 Loaves Of Bread In Cook Stove Oven

You can test for “doneness” by two ways:

  1. Tap the loaf and it should sound hollow. If it sounds hollow it’s done
  2. Also you can slip the loaf out of the pan and look at the bottom. It should be golden brown – not white or pasty looking.

If the bread loaves/loaf needs more time just put it back into the pan and return to the oven until it is finished baking.

Loaves In Cook Stove Oven

Loaves In Cook Stove Oven

When the loaves are done baking remove them from the pans and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

*RECIPE NOTES*

The above recipe is my basic bread recipe. I alter it to suit my needs and will combine different types of flours.

I don’t usually combine more than a 50/50 mix of fresh hand ground whole wheat berries and any other kind of flour. I think it makes the bread too heavy. A 50/50 mix of all purpose four and a good bread or high gluten flour makes a very nice white bread loaf. A nice loaf is also made with 50% white flour, 25% whole wheat flour and 25% rye flour.

Grinding Wheat With A Hand Mill

Grinding Wheat With A Hand Mill

My favorite whole wheat is 25% hand ground wheat berries, 25% high gluten flour and 50% all purpose flour. This recipe is very forgiving. Have fun with this recipe and experiment with different flour combinations and make it your own.

I use either fresh or canned milk. Canned milk is usually cheaper than fresh fluid milk (unless I’m milking a goat or cow) and I always have it on the pantry shelf. I reconstitute canned milk for this recipe at a ratio of 50% milk to 50% water.

 

Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. But for the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed. 

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  3 comments for “A Recipe For 6 Loaves Of Perfect Bread

  1. tj
    April 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    …Thank you for the recipe! I will definitely be trying this. :o)

    …Peace & blessings.

  2. Carol Urban
    April 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Your bread looks so good. I could just slather it in butter! I used to make bread all the time when I lived in southern Virginia. My ex-MIL was a wonderful bread maker. I admire all that you do to live a self sufficient life.

    • KMG
      April 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you Carol :-)

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