I used to splurge on those "artisan" breads in the local grocery store until I came across this recipe for Amish Loaf Bread at Suzanne McMinn's fantastic blog, Chickens In The Road. Among her adventurous stories of self-sufficiency and farm life, she has a huge database of recipes called Farm Bell Recipes - it's incredible! In fact, go over there right now and check it out...oh, and then come back!!!
Anyway, turns out this recipe for bread is excellent - Both for eating immediately with some of your homemade jam and for freezing the dough and baking at a later date!
2 Cups Warm Water
2 Packets Yeast
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
5 1/2 (or a little more) Cups Flour
In large glass bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm water and stir in yeast. Allow to proof about 5-10 minutes until it looks foamy.
Mix in salt and oil to the yeast. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time. You can use your kitchen helper for this!
When dough has formed a ball, knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth (not sticky) about 5 minutes.
Wipe down your previously-used glass bowl and oil it well. Place the dough in bowl and turn to coat surface of dough with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (trust me on this one). Cover with a towel and put it in a warm area. Allow to rise until it has doubled in bulk.
Knead the dough lightly and cut it in half. Shape it into loaves and place into two well oiled loaf pans. Cover both with sprayed plastic wrap. Put one loaf in the freezer (more on this loaf later). Cover the other loaf with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Bake your bread in a preheated over at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Let your bread sit for at least 15-30 minutes in the pan after it comes out of oven to finish setting up...then dig in!
For the Freezer Loaf: After about 8 hours, take it out of the freezer, remove it from the pan, wrap it in plastic wrap & then put it in a labeled freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you're ready to use it, unwrap it and put it in an oiled loaf pan directly from the freezer. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and a towel and put in a warm place for about 3-4 hours. The dough will thaw and rise at this time. After that, follow the instructions for baking!
This bread will last a few days in a sealed zipper bag (no preservatives, you know). It also makes EXCELLENT French Toast!
Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:
Amish Loaf (Pantry Items $2.00), Yields 2 Loaves
Total Fake-It Cost: $1.00/Loaf
Compare to Spring Mill Bread Co. Peasant White Loaf ($4.99 Each)
Total Fake-It Savings: $7.98
** If you liked this, check out my other Recipes!**