from Virtuous Daughters, May 2012~Volume 12, Number 2
A wholesome, delicious bread that is hearty enough for winter soups; yet also light enough for sandwiches.
Yields: 2 Loaves
Combine the warm water, yeast, honey, oil, salt and two cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. Add 4-5 cups (or the rest) of the flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry). Dough should be smooth and elastic. It is a common mistake for first timers to add too much flour. Knead the bread by hand for 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the bread. Be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable. Using a tsp of oil on your hands and kneading surface also helps. Form the dough into two loaves. Place the dough into greased (with cooking spray) loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow the bread to sit on or beside the preheating oven to rise. Let the bread rise until it doubles in size (about 30-45 minutes). Bake loaves for 30 minutes, being careful not to open the oven door while baking. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color. Allow bread to cool (about 10 minutes) before taking out of the pans. Immediately place them on a cooling rack after taking out of the pans. Slather the top with melted butter. Enjoy the loaf right then, or freeze what you want to save. (It keeps on the counter for about five days, seven if in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer.)