Classic Homemade Bread Recipes You'll Love

Here are three easy-to-follow recipes for the most delectable homemade breads you're likely to taste!

| January/February 1977

Basic Bread

(Makes two loaves)  

2 packages of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons of salt
7 cups of unsifted, unbleached white flour
2 1/4 cups of milk
1/2 cup of honey
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 stick of margarine
1/4 cup of peanut oil

Combine the yeast and salt with two cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk, honey, eggs, margarine, and oil together in a saucepan until the margarine has melted.  Then add the warm (but not hot) blend to the bowl containing the yeast, salt, and flour. Beat until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed (30 seconds at low speed and three minutes at medium, if you're using an electric mixer). By hand, stir in enough extra flour (approximately five cups) to form a soft dough. Knead the dough on a floured breadboard until a satiny finish has developed (about one minute), then place the big ball in a greased bowl, cover, and set in a warm (about 110° F) spot. When the dough has risen to double its original size (about 45 minutes), punch it down and knead it for five minutes. Afterwards, divide the sponge in half, shape it Into two loaves, and place them in buttered or greased pans. (Vegetable oil is not recommended, as it will cause the finished bread to stick to the pan.) Cover the loaves with a dish towel, set them in a warm place to rise, and—when they've doubled in size—bake them In a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes or until they've turned deep brown in color and sound hollow when lightly tapped. (HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: At 5,000-foot elevation, bake this bread in a 375° oven for 35 to 40 minutes.)

Honey Wheat Bread

(Makes one large loaf)  

1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of shortening 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 1/4 cups of water
4 1/2 cups of unsifted whole wheat flour
1 egg

Dissolve the yeast in a quarter cup of warm water and set the solution aside. Heat the honey, shortening, salt, and remaining water together in a saucepan until the shortening has melted, cool till lukewarm. Then combine the tepid mixture with the yeast in a large bowl. Now add one and a half cups of whole wheat flour and the egg to the liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in enough extra wheat flour (about three cups) by hand to form a stiff dough, then turn the dough out onto a floured breadboard and knead until it's smooth and elastic. Transfer the mass to a greased bowl, turn once (to coat the dough's surface with oil), and set in a warm place. When the sponge has doubled in size, punch it down, then shape it into a ball and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Afterwards, form the mass into a loaf, place the loaf in a well-greased baking pan, cover with a dish towel, and let stand in a warm place until the sponge has doubled in size. Finally, bake the loaf in a preheated 375°F oven for 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

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