Basic Bread Recipe
4 ½ cups very warm water
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1/3 cup yeast
1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs. salt
12 cups white flour (or wheat, or a mixture of white/wheat)
In large mixing bowl blend first five ingredients. Add flour slowly. Continue to knead (in mixer) in flour until dough becomes no longer sticky. (Although, you don’t want it too dense)
Cover counter and hands with flour. Form breads as desired. (The fun part)
Let rise in a very warm place, until tripled in size. Gently place in 350 oven for 15-30 minutes (depending on size of loaf). Tap on top of bread. If it sounds hollow, it is done. It should be golden brown in color.
This will create 5-6 nice size loaves.
Gourmet Bread Varieties:
Sweet Cinnamon Swirl
Flatten an 8th of the dough into a ½ inch thick rectangle. Sprinkle ¼ cup cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar over the dough, one inch from edges. Roll up starting from the long end. Pinch together and tuck ends under. Let rise until tripled in size. Butter top, add cinnamon/sugar. Bake for 20 min. @ 350 and enjoy.
Cinnamon Rolls: Make as directed above, slicing log into rolls before allowing to rise. Place in a round cake pan and bake for 15 min.
Follow directions for cinnamon swirl above, substituting your favorite pesto. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of the bread pan before allowing it to rise. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Add favorite herbs, such as rosemary, basil, oregano to an 8th of the dough. Shape into a loaf. Let rise until tripled in size. Drizzle with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Bake @ 350 for 20 min.
Gourmet Bread Additives:
~Calzone: pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni roll
This is a great recipe for the kids to get involved in. Since it makes so much dough, they can each make their own loaf and there is still plenty for mom to be creative with!