I got this recipe many years ago from my friend Shauna, who played a great part in my writing this book. This dough is so easy to make that our girls were making it at age 12.
If you don’t have a heavy-duty mixer, simply knead the bread by hand, as my youngest daughter, Lizi, did at college.
- 4 cups warm 105–115 degrees water
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey or 2/3 cup sugar
- 10 to 12 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- Pour the water into a very large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Add the yeast, salt, oil, honey, and 5 cups of the flour, and mix to combine. Gradually mix in an additional 5 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is smooth. (Add still more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, if necessary.)
- Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface, or with the dough hook on low for 12 minutes. Cover with a dish towel and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 45 minutes. Generously grease three 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and set aside. Note: My favorite loaf pans for bread baking are glass. Your bread will brown beautifully and look even better than what you can buy in a bakery!
- Punch down the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it briefly to remove the air bubbles. Divide the dough in thirds, knead each section a few times, and shape into a loaf. Place the dough into the prepared pans. Cover with a dish towel and let rise 30 to 45 minutes. The dough is ready to bake when you press down slightly with your finger and the indentation remains.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes. Immediately remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack. To freeze loaves, place in resealable plastic freezer bags and store up to two months in the freezer.