It has been 10 months since I began making bread and during that time I have been experimenting, finally settling upon a recipe that works for the whole family. It has been greatly modified from the original white bread recipe found in The Canadian Living Cookbook. The ingredients used are what is on hand around the house. Whey or rice milk is used instead of cow's milk. All the ingredients are organic or local ( except for the yeast). Keep loaves in freezer unless they will be used up quickly. This recipe yields 4 loaves.
INGREDIENTS: 2 cup whey or rice milk 4 tbsp honey or brown sugar 4 tbsp vegetable shortening 4 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt 2 tbsp dry yeast 8 cups unbleached flour (rough approximation. Don't add the entire amount at once) 2 cups rye flour
1) Warm whey and honey in saucepan. Set aside.
2) Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Cover bowl and set aside for ten minutes or until it looks frothy. I set the bowl on a heating pad unless it is a hot summer day ( which seems like hardly ever, especially this year).
3) Butter and flour 4 bread pans. Butter 2 large bowls. Set aside.
4) In large bowl add rye flour, 3 cups unbleached flour and salt. Keep the container of flour handy as you will be adding more to the bowl later.
5) Add yeast and whey/honey mixture into the flour bowl. Mix with wooden spoon. Add more flour until it begins to feel stiff. Knead dough 10 minutes. If you knead it in the bowl you won't have a messy counter to wipe up later. Divide dough into two and place each in large buttered bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour. Place the bowls on heating pad if needed. I use parchment paper between the dough and towel to prevent it from sticking.
6)Divide dough from each bowl to make a total of 4 loaves and place in bread pans. Let rise for another hour as above.
7) Place in preheated 400F oven for 35 minutes. Remove from pans and brush top and sides with butter. Slice bread when completely cooled, bag and put in freezer until needed.