6 cups flour plus extra as needed
1 Tbs sea salt
2 Tbs honey
1 pkg yeast
2.5 cups warm (37C) water
2Tbs butter, margarine or Crisco gold
This is not a 1 hour from start to finish loaf. I like 2 rises so the yeast can start digesting the flour. The kneading activates the gluten which makes the texture of the bread fine.
Dissolve the honey in the warm water. Take about one half cup and mix in the yeast. Allow this mixture to rest for several minutes. The dry yeast will hydrate, rising to the surface forming a thick layer.
In a mixer with a bread hook add flour, salt, and the shortening of choice. Add the water and yeast mixture slowly. Mix/knead until all the flour is incorporated. If the mixture is too wet gradually add more flour, 1 Tbs at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the hook. Put bowl in s warm place and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until doubled in size. In my kitchen this is about 2 hours.
Remove plastic wrap. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. I use a pastry cloth. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces. Knead each piece for several minutes. Flouring the surface as necessary. Shape into long loaves if you are using 2 pieces or rounds for four pieces. Place on baking sheets lined with cooking parchment. Make several slices in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Let the loaves rise for 30 – 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450F. Cook loaves on middle shelf for 12-15 minutes. Loaves should be a rich brown. Let them cool for 30 minutes before serving.
This is not a crunchy crust that lacerated the roof of your mouth. It is soft and slightly sweet with a fine texture. Great for breakfast or with soup.
This loaf was frozen . Just as yummy !