I remember one year arriving home from college for Christmas break and walking in the door to the smell of a hearty vegetable beef stew simmering on the stove, and fresh bread. My mom sat me down, dished me up a huge bowl of soup, sliced up a thick piece of homemade bread, (slathered with butter, of course) and told me to eat...and then I was home.
Yesterday I was feeling a little homesick for the days when I relied on my wonderful mom to cook and serve me delicious food, so I decided to make some bread. I've been trying my grandma's bread recipe for years, but I always ended up with really dense, heavy bread. I tried tweaking it, but could never get it quite right. Yesterday I found a great recipe entitled "NO FAIL YEAST BREAD" and I challenge you to try it. It was easy (I promise) and lived up to it's name. It turned out four light, fluffy, moist, delicious loaves of white bread. We inhaled two by ourselves and gave the other two away.
5 cups warm water
1/4 C. oil
1 1/2 T. salt
1 cup honey, or 3/4 cup sugar
3 T. yeast
3 T. dough enhancer (optional - I didn't use any)
11-14 cups flour
This recipe is easiest when a large mixer is used. (I have a kitchen aide, but it was still a little small for the amount of dough it made. I made it work by adding the flour very slowly and doing some hand-kneading at the very end.) Combine water, oil, sugar (or honey), and dough enhancer. Add yeast, mix. Stir in enough flour to make dough soft and start to pull away from the edges of the bowl. Knead for 8-10 minutes. Flour hands and remove from mixer. Divide into 4 parts. Shape each into a loaf and place into greased loaf pans. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise until dough is 1" above the pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes.
Serve some with a pot of your favorite soup and enjoy!