4 loaves of bread (Slow rise or overnight method)

2011-09-06 15:42
Mountain Standard Time
Absolutely the most delicious bread ever.       

    2/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder (instant powdered milk)
    1/3 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey
    1 packet or 1 teaspoon of yeast or 1/8 cup of yeast from  my recipe
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/3 cup oil
    12 cups (approximately) white or whole wheat flour or a combination
   4 cups of warm water, not hot (it will kill the yeast)                                                                

+1 HUGE bowl
*This can be done in a large mixer.  These instructions are for doing it by hand.

Start by mixing the water, dry milk powder and sugar in the  bowl. Add the yeast, sort of sprinkled on top. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast dissolves some, this will only take a couple of minutes. It will start to foam and bubble up.  Add the salt, oil, and flour.  Mix with a wooden spoon until it gets too stiff and then dig in with your hands. When the dough is in a nice ball, turn it out onto a floured kitchen table or counter.

Start kneading the dough. Pushing and pulling and pounding it. Knead it like this for a full ten minutes. Add more flour if you need to as you go along.

Coat the dough with oil, about 2 tablespoons of it, and put it into the bowl.  

When you tuck it away to rise, put it in a spot that is safe(especially if you have pets, you can put it in the oven just don't turn it on)  and let it sit for 12 to 18 hours. The yeast has to have a long time to work because there isn’t much of it in there.  As it sits in the dough, it will reproduce itself and gradually raise the entire batch of dough. Do not refrigerate it during this time; let it sit at room temperature.

The next day check your dough to see how it’s doing. If it has doubled in bulk, then you can punch it down and shape it into loaves. If it hasn’t doubled yet then let it sit a while longer.

If it has risen, place the formed loaves into large (9 by 5-inch) well oiled loaf pans.  Cover the dough with a cloth or more plastic wrap and let it rise again. It should take less time for the second rising. When the dough is risen up enough, bake the loaves at 350° for 40 minutes.

This variation is similar to sourdough bread and it has 2 benefits. The first is economical. You only need a single packet of yeast to make 4 loaves of bread. The second is that the work can be done the day before and finished when you have more time the next day. The process is simple and definitely tastier.

Don’t worry about the dough. Don’t worry about it going bad, or getting contaminated or anything like that. Remember, mothers since the beginning of time have made their dough this way and they produced healthy, hearty offspring that could withstand all sorts of trouble. Eating this kind of bread didn’t make anyone sick back then.

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