This recipe and hints are from Wheat for Man, Why and How, Vernice G. Rosenvall, Mabel H. Miller, and Dora D. Flack, Bookcraft Company: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1952, pp. 13, 9. A few used copies of the book may be available from Amazon. Also check bookbinder.com for additional copies.
Be sure that your oven is heating exactly as it registers; otherwise make appropriate corrections to the temperature settings. Read your entire recipe carefully BEFORE you start to mix. Follow measurements and instructions accurately.
- 12 cups unsifted whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup raw sugar or honey or molasses
- 1/3 cup cooking oil or melted shortening [olive oil is best]
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 5 to 6 cups milk (fresh, diluted canned, or powdered; potato water may also be used. Always scald fresh milk)
Mix well and let stand over night at room temperature or mix and let stand at least 3 hours in covered pan. This is absolutely essential. (6-qt. pan is ideal size or deep well pan in electric stove.) After bread has stood, soften two yeast cakes in 2 to 4 tbsp. warm water and add to dough mixture, working it in thoroughly with hands. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Now place dough on well-greased surface (bread board or table-top) and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes. (thorough kneading develops gluten which is essential to good texture and volume). Do not add flour during kneading process. Board and hands can be greased 3 or 4 times, as dough becomes sticky.
Put back in covered pan and set in oven to rise at temperature of 80 degrees to 85 degrees for 1 hour, or until double in bulk. In most electric ovens this temperature can be reached by turning oven for 1 minute. Gas stoves require 1/2 minute. At this temperature the dough will double in bulk in about I hour. Now remove dough to kneading surface, knead for about 2 minutes, then divide into 3 or 4 loaves (The number of loaves depends on the size of pans and height of loaf desired.) Let it rest for a few minutes while you grease the loaf pans.
Shape loaves with vigorous pressure from your hands. The vigorous pressure on each loaf removes air from dough and produces smooth, even-textured bread that is light without having large air holes. Lightly grease top surface and set in oven to rise for 15 to 20 minutes at 80° to 85 (not quite double in bulk). Bake immediately for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes at 325. An ideal size for loaf pans is 91/4″ x 4 3/4″ x 2 3/4.
Raisin or date-nut bread may be made by adding to the dough of one of the loaves 1 1/2 cups raisins or 1/2 lb. dates and 1/2 to 1 cup nuts plus 3 tbsp. raw sugar, if desired. Bake in 2 loaf pans or 2 cans (46-oz. juice cans.)
Although mixing at night is the preferred method, you can mix dough at any hour, but be sure to let the first mixture stand at, least 3 hours before proceeding with bread making This much time is required to soften the bran in the flour sufficiently to make good bread, Bran is naturally water-repellent. Softening it for at least 3 hours will insure a more moist bread and one that will not go stale and crumble.
Note: 1 cup soy flour and/or 1/2 cup wheat germ may be substituted for part of the flour. When using powdered milk simply mix it thoroughly with the flour. Then add remaining ingredients.
If for some reason you are short of time, add an extra yeast cake. It won’t affect the flavor. Yeasty taste results when bread is too warm during rising period. Bread can be made with only one yeast cake. Allow 1 1/2 as much time for rising.
If dough rises too much after shaping into loaves, it will fall, become course and open grained, and bread will be dry. If this should happen, it is better to remold.