FARMHOUSE WHITE BREAD
- Cooking Time: 35 minutes
- Servings: 3 1.5 lb loaves
- Preparation Time: 2+ hours
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons (2 pkgs yeast)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cups warm milk (or water)
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
In a very large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, yeast, and sugar (I use a wooden spoon). Make a small well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the canola oil and then the milk. Mix well, then continue to stir vigorously, slowly adding 1 cup of the bread flour at a time, until you've added about 5 cups, or until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough; this should take several minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 6 or 7 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface.
Place the mixing bowl over the dough, and let it rest for 20 minutes. This rest period is called the autolyse.
Remove the bowl, flatten out the dough with your hands, and sprinkle about half of the salt over it. Begin kneading the salt into the dough. After a few turns, sprinkle on the rest of the salt and continue to knead for 5 to 7 minutes, until the salt is completely incorporated and the dough is soft and smooth.
Sprinkle flour in the dough bowl, place the dough in it, liberally dust it with flour, and cover it with a damp tea towel (not terry cloth, as it will shed lint on your dough). Or put it in a straight sided plastic container with a snap-on lid and mark the spot on the container that the dough will reach when it has doubled in volume.
When the dough is ready to be shaped, you should be able to push a floured finger deep into it and leave an indentation that doesn't spring back. Unless your dough is rising in a straight-sided container, it can be difficult to judge whether it has "doubled in size" which is the guideline most recipes use. I find the finger poking method to be more reliable, though lately I've been letting all my doughs rise in plastic containers.
Shaping and final rise (proof)
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flattening gently with your hands to break up any large air bubbles. Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
Shape the dough into loaves and dust the tops with flour. Place loaves seam side down in greased loaf pans. I like my sandwich breads to be tall, so I use smaller loaf pans.
Cover the loaves with a damp tea towel and let them rise for 45 to 60 minutes. When you lightly poke the dough with a floured finger it should spring back just a little.
Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow if tapped. Remove immediately from pans and let cool on a wire rack. Try to wait at least 40 minutes before cutting into a loaf. Store at room temperature or freeze in zipper freezer bags. Make sure loaves are completely cooled before sealing in bags.
Website Credit: http://ayearinbread.earthandhearth.com/2007/05/t-his-bread-which-i-call-farmhouse.html