Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sheepherder's Bread

I wanted to share one of my staple recipes with you today. My favorite, tried and true bread recipe. This is the one I make over and over, for sandwiches, toast or sliced thick with butter to pair with a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup or stew.   There is nothing like fresh from the oven home baked bread and wow does it make the house smell g-double o- d good!
This recipe makes four loaves and I always like to bless someone with a loaf whenever I make it.  Last week it was my hairdresser, who was planning on BLT sandwiches for dinner that night - I love when things work out that way!  Wonderboy's music teacher, The Principal's co-workers and several neighbors have been happy recipeints as well.  If you are local let me know if you'd like a loaf and it can most assuredly be arranged ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                             Sheepherder's Bread  

3 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil (olive/safflower/coconut oil or combination - anything goes ;-))
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons yeast
9 cups flour
(I typically use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 fresh ground prairie gold wheat)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine the water, oil, honey, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Stir to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes (sponge) to proof the yeast.  Add 7-8 cups of flour.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead.  Add flour as needed (dough gets very sticky).  Knead for 10 minutes (by hand - if you have a Bosch or other mixture, knead for 8 minutes).  Put dough into a greased bowl to rise.  Cover with a clean towel.  Let rise until double.  Punch dough down.  Let rise until almost double.  Punch down again.  Form into loaves or rolls.  Let rise until double.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tests done. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks, brush crust with melted butter.
*For raisin bread, I add 2 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 cup raisins(soak in warm water and drain and pat dry prior to adding in.
**  I buy the plastic bowl covers ( we call them party hats here) that come in 3 sizes at The Dollar Tree and use these instead of dishtowels - they work great if you put them on the bowl to rise in the oven with the oven light one and then one on each pan after you form into loaves.

This can easily be made into dinner rolls as well.

Yields 4 loaves or 2 loaves and 1 1/2 dozen rolls.

Do you have a stand by favorite bread you make?  Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out for you.

No comments:

Swidget 1.0 7