I really like homemade bread. Almost as much as my husband does.
Here’s my favorite recipe, best made with freshly milled whole wheat flour. However, you can use half white and half wheat or other combinations, if you care to experiment. (I like to add some steel cut oats to the wheat in the mill when I make the flour….) Note: after the first rise, at least one loaf should definitely be rolled out and sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar then rolled up again.
Maren’s Whole Wheat Bread (makes 4 loaves)
1 cup hot water
1 cup dark brown sugar or 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup molasses
2 Tbsp (2 packages) dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp honey or sugar
3 cups warm water
4 tsp salt
14 cups flour
In a small bowl, dissolve brown sugar into hot water.
In the mixer bowl, dissolve yeast and honey into the warm water. Let sit a few minutes to make sure it gets bubbly. Add the 3 additional cups warm water, salt, the small bowl of sugar-water mixture, and half the flour. Beat well with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining flour and switch to the dough hook. Knead in the mixer (or by hand) for about 10 minutes.
Cover. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Punch down. Divide dough into 4 equal parts (see note above). Shape into loaves and place in lightly greased bread pans. Cover and let rise till double.
Heat oven to 350F (177C) and bake 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans a few minutes, then turn bread out onto cooling racks.
Best served warm with honey butter (whip soft butter with an almost-equal amount of honey). Once cooled completely, store loaves in a bag. If needed, loaves can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, and frozen.
And, for something less sweet:
Dough for calzones/pizza/bread:
2 pkgs or 4 tsp dry yeast dissolved in 1 cup 100F water
6 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Mix together then add another 1-1.5 cups water, and 2 Tbsp oil. Knead well, let rise 30 minutes. Punch down, roll out in circles for calzones and fill, folding over and pressing edges with a fork to seal. Prick tops with a fork and let rise again 30 minutes. Bake at 400F till browned on top, about 10-20 minutes. Makes about 12 calzones, 3-4 pizzas, or 3 loaves of bread (slash tops diagonally before baking and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes).