Is there anything more comforting than kneading warm bread dough? I love making bread, it makes me feel good. Baking bread tells me all is right in my world, my home, my family.
I'm in a funk today and I know that baking some bread will turn me from sad to glad in no time. Life begings to feel less complicated as I start to knead the dough, my mind clears and thoughts and ideas make their way forward.
Here is the recipe:
2 envelopes active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsps)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups milk
4 tbsp butter
3 tsp salt
2 cup warm water
5 cups unbleached flour
5 cups whole wheat flour
Dissolve sugar and 1/2 cup warm water in large bowl, sprinkle yeast over sugar water, let stand for approx 10 min.
Heat milk to lukewarm, stir in butter, water and surgar. Add milk mixture to yeast mixture and 4 cups of whole wheat flour, beat mixture until smooth with a wooden spoon.
Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time until mixture leaves side of bowl. Turn dough out onto floured surface and start kneading dough adding more flour as required. Dough should be elastic and no longer sticky. This should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Place dough in slightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm draft free area until dough doubles in volume, approx 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough onto floured surface and cut dough into 4 equal amounts. Shape into 4 loaves. Place loaves into greased loaf pans and let rise until doubled, approx 1 hour.
Bake at 400 F on lower oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes, remove from pans. Brush crust with butter if desired.