When I was young, my mom baked her own bread. I'm not sure if it was due to the economic times or because she liked to make our family's weekly bread. She would double this recipe and make 10 loaves a week! I remember seeing the dough rising in the line of bread pans hidden under the linen towels. I also remember getting into trouble for 'pinching' pieces of dough to taste as it rose therefore causing it them to fall! I have such fond memories of bread baking....
Here is her recipe and commentary as it is written in my recipe collection:
Some folks think that making bread is a big job, but I am going to prove to you that is is not so. The only utensils you need are a saucepan, a large bowl, a spoon for mixing, measuring cups & spoons and five bread pans. Plan to make bread on a day when you will be home for most of the time since the process will take 5 to 6 hours.
In the morning, put 1 quart of milk in a sauce pan (4 C). (Regular, fresh or instant milk may be used). Add 1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil. Heat until the shortening is melted and steams. In your large mixing bowl, put 1/2 cup of sugar and 3 tsp. of salt. Pour the hot milk over this, stir and then set it aside to cool down. Now put 2/3 cut of warm water in a cup (not too hot, not too cool) add 2 pkg. of yeast or 2 TBsp of yeast and stir until dissolved. When the milk is also lukewarm mix the yeast/water into it. Add 11 cups of flour. Measure & add it as you take it out of the bag. Sifting is not necessary.
When the dough is well mixed, turn it onto a well floured table or flour board. (wash the large bowl and either spray it with some baking spray or apply a think layer of shortening). Knead the dough using enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Put this firm but soft ball of dough into the greased bowl to rise. Cover it with a linen towel and set the bowl in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in bulk, cut it down. Using a knife, cut through and through to release the air and then knead it with your hands and place back in the bowl to rise. Repeat this process again and a third time if you want. This will allow the bread to have a finer grain. After the second or third rising, knead the dough again using very little added flour. Cut into 5 pieces and shape into loaves. Put the dough into 5 greased bread pans, cover and allow the dough to rise for up to an hour.
Bake at 325* for 50 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on baking racks. By the time you have washed the bowl, pan, spoons and knife, you have spent about 25-30 minutes of actual work (not including the rising & baking time) for five loaves of delicious bread!!
Since this bread takes readily to freezing, put some away for future use or better yet... share some with a friend!
You can make bread bowls or dinner rolls but remember the baking time will be shorter!
You can also use a combination of white and wheat flour. I've used 7 cups white and 4 cups wheat with a wonderful outcome! Good luck and have fun baking bread!!