Karen’s version of Joyce McCown’s recipe
5 tsp. yeast, ½ cup warm water, and 1 Tbs. honey. Set aside. I know this is just to proof the yeast and that I could probably just add it later but I like to stick with tradition.
In Bosch mixer, with dough hook, combine:
5 cups Whole Wheat flour (I use hard red winter wheat), 3 cups white flour, 5 cups hot water, and 1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (my optional add-in)
Mix for 10 minutes to make gluten work and to allow yeast to rise.
In another medium bowl combine:
2 beaten eggs (those poor eggs), ½ cup canola oil, 1/3 cup honey (if you buy some from your area it will actually help relieve your allergies - cool, huh?), 1 Tbs. salt, and 2 Tbs. lemon juice (I found that this is a natural dough enhancer that helps the wheat rise). Mix and combine with wheat/water mixture in Bosch. Add yeast mixture. Scrape down sides. Gradually add 2 ½ cups wheat flour and 2 ½ cups white flour. Mix for 5 minutes to knead. Take out of Bosch and put into a large, greased bowl. Cover with warm, damp towel and let rise till double (1 hour where I'm at). After 1 hour, turn oven on to warm setting. With greased hands, punch down dough and form into 4 loaves, brush tops with PAM as well and let rise in pans till double (30 minutes in warm oven). Leave the pans in the oven and turn it from warm to 350 degrees for 30 minutes more. Remove from oven after cooking time then brush tops with butter and wrap in towels for softer crust.
It may look difficult at first but once you get used to making it, it's a breeze. I don't even need to look at the recipe anymore. Besides, what's better than to walk in your home and smell bread baking?
My daddy likes his with honey. My oldest son likes his with strawberry or raspberry jam, no butter. My Nana liked hers with sliced sharp cheddar on top and toasted. My grandma would put a thin layer of peanut butter on hers. The rest of them like it with butter. I'm good with any of the above because it reminds of those people I love. What do you like to put on your homemade bread?