This dough is so easy to make that our girls were making it at age 12.
- 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.
Variation: To make cinnamon bread, roll out each section and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as desired. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of water over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place in a greased bread pan. Let rise and bake as above.
If you don’t have a heavy-duty mixer, simply knead the bread by hand, as my youngest daughter, Lizi, did at college.