My Mother has given me the started steps to cook since day one. I remember making English muffins, pizza, stews, bread, rolls, cookies, other desserts and so much more with her as a child. Till this day I remember how when making English muffins, I'd always be told NOT to just get a cup of flour, or pack it or else I'll mess the whole thing up. She always said, fluff it up in the container, scoop it and level it, nothing else! So that's what I do. She also showed me countless of times how to knead the dough but up until a few years ago I always over kneaded. Or I always used too much flour to start with.
The trick was, add as little flour as your stirring. When you are kneading the dough, that's the time to add in extra. This way if you started out with too little your not over doing it. Bread doesn't always need the amount of flour listed some days it can be half a cup less, others an extra half of cup. This is why you need to add it slowly and if all else fails, add that last half a cup for the very end.
I think Bread is one of my favorite things to make, there's so many different kinds, so many things you can do with it, and no bread has the same taste either. I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe before, as it's my own Mother's Recipe! It makes four wonderful loaves.
This recipe is published in "Blue Ribbon Recipes-693 Award winners from America's State and County Fairs"
Debby Payne's Perfectly White Bread~Blue Ribbon, Dutchess County fair 1997 :-) My Mommy!!
6cups bread flour
6cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 envelope (2.4oz.) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar or honey (the honey makes is so good!)
2cups cold water
Melted butter (optional)
-Whisk together bread flour and all purpose flour
-Dissolve yeast in warm water
-In large bowl, combine sugar or honey, shortening, and salt.Scald milk in saucepan and pour over shortening mixture. After shortening melts, add cold water to bowl and stir to combine.
-Add 2cups of the combined flours to the liquid ingredients.Mix thoroughly. add yeast and mix to combine.Add more flour, 1 or 2 cups at a time mixing after each addition, until dough forms.
-turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.Knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes, dusting surface with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl , and turn once to coat. Cover with a clean towel and let ride in a warm place until double in size. 2-2 1/2 hrs.
-Punch down dough, fold in side turn over, cover and let rise until double in size, about 1hour.
-Turn out dough onto a floured surface.Let rest 10mins. Cut into 4 pieces, shape each piece into a loaf and place in a greased 9x5x3in-loaf pan. To ensure a light texture during baking, do not over handle the dough at this stage (seriously don't, trust me!) Cover and let rise until double in size