Jan's Bread Recipe

When I was a young girl living in Alabama, my family would sometimes drive past the large bakery in our city. My brothers and I felt as though we were coming close to heaven as the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread wafted into the car. Those memories never left me as I grew older. I assumed then that bread could only be successfully made by professional bakers. Certainly no one in my immediate family would ever attempt such an undertaking. But when I was a teenager, while I was visiting a friend, that same wonderful fragrance filled their home, and I asked, incredulously, if they were making bread. That moment was the beginning of my hobby, or passion, rather, for home baked bread.
I learned first to made a rudimentary shaggy white loaf, then was on to wheat, with home milled flour, and then after a trip to Europe I began experimenting with European loaves baked on a stone. Many years later, I make bread routinely, grind my own flour for it, and enjoy the wonderful product of my effort. The following bread instructions are for the beginning baker. When I first began baking bread I hand kneaded it, but now (with 3 large and hungry sons) I find that using a Bosch bread mixer saves me tremendous time and effort. This recipe is for a loaf of white bread using ingredients that can be purchased from most grocery stores:

 1/2 cup
 1 cup
 2 T.
 5 cups
 warm water, 115 degrees
 1/2 cup
 sugar or honey
 3 T.
 Fleishmann's or Red Star Fast Acting yeast
 15 +
 high gluten white flour

In a small saucepan over medium heat melt Crisco with buttermilk. When just melted, set aside.
Beat 3 eggs in the bottom of a very large bowl (that can accommodate all ingredients).
Add water, melted Crisco and buttermilk, honey, and salt.
Add 10 cups of flour.
In a small bowl mix yeast with 1 cup of flour, then add into bread mixture.
Slowly add flour until the dough has enough holding together power to clean the sides of the bowl. It should be slightly sticky to the hands, but holds together.
Adding flour very slowly, begin kneading with the palms of the hands in an away motion, then folding the bread back towards you. Generally, hand kneading bread takes about 15 minutes. The more pressure you apply in the kneading motion, the better the bonds in the gluten which will make a firm, soft-crumbed loaf.
Separate dough into 4 equal sections. Shape into small logs that will fit into four greased bread pans. Allow to rise for app. 45 minutes, or until the dough doesn't spring back when a finger is poked in.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 28-32 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the bread registers 200 degrees. If the bread hasn't reached 200 degrees, remove from pans, set right on the oven racks and cook for another 5 minutes, then test again. It should be uniformly golden brown. Immediately remove from pans, if you haven't already and cool on cooling racks.
Warning: bread is much easier to cut without destroying the loaf when it is cool. But we always sacrifice one loaf to be eaten hot.
 Please send comments and questions to Jan Irvine at: tomirvine@aol.com