Economical White Bread
To make a single loaf, use the amounts of ingredients indicated in brackets.
The small batch can be mixed in the food processor, in a bowl by hand, or with the dough cycle of a bread machine (but bake it in the oven). The entire 16-loaf recipe costs very little to make.
1 gallon warm water, about 110 degrees [1 c.]
1 c. honey or sugar [1 tbsp.]
1/3 c. active dry yeast, regular or quick-rising [1 pkg. or 1 tbsp.]
½ c. salt [1½ tsp.]
1 c. shortening or oil (can be omitted) [1 tbsp.]
12 lb. (48 c.) bread flour, divided [3 c.]
Combine the warm water, honey and yeast in the large mixer bowl. Let stand 5 minutes until the yeast bubbles. Add the salt, shortening and ¼ of the flour; mix until smooth.
Slowly add the remaining flour, turning the mixer first to low speed then medium speed and knead for 10 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and feels soft, pliable and smooth.
Turn out into a large, greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Divide the large batch into 16 parts and shape each into an oblong or round loaf. Place on lightly greased pans, 4 or 5 loaves per large sheet pan. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Brush or spray with water and dust lightly with additional flour; slash the tops of the loaves with a sharp blade in two or three places.
Bake in a 375-degree regular oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or in a commercial convection oven set at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted through the loaf comes out clean and dry. Cool on a rack, and slice for serving.
Makes 16 loaves [or 1 loaf], each with 10 generous slices per loaf.