Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grandma's Brown Bread

2 pkg. dry yeast
¾ c lukewarm water
1 tsp. plus 1 cup sugar, divided
4 cups water, divided
½ c shortening
1 ½ tbsp. salt
½ dark molasses
1 cup rye flour
2 cups graham flour (whole wheat)
7-8 cups all-purpose flour

Mix yeast, lukewarm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Heat 2 cups water to boiling and pour over 1 cup sugar, shortening, salt and molasses in mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve shortening. Add remaining 2 cups water to mixing bowl, and cool to lukewarm.
When shortening mixture is lukewarm, add dissolved yeast and stir in rye and graham flours. Add all-purpose flour, beginning with 7 cups and adding just enough to allow for easy handling while kneading. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Knead for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in greased bowl, rolling it over to grease the other side. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise until double in volume (1 ½ - 2 hours).
Punch dough down and knead briefly. Divide dough into 4 parts, shape and place in greased loaf pans.
Let rise until double in size, or until a depression remains if touched lightly with finger. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cook on wire racks.

Yield: 4 large loaves (You should be able to half this recipe pretty easily.)
Source: I have no idea whose grandma is referenced in the name. I'm pretty sure I got the recipe from a newspaper article years ago.
Notes: This bread is fabulous and turns out well every time.

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