Here's my favorite bread recipe. It is a cinnamon bread but when I want to make regular bread, I just make it into loaves without spreading the cinnamon and sugar on it. This makes 2 loaves of bread.
Jill's Favorite (Cinnamon) Bread
6 1/2 - 7 cups unsifted flour
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg. yeast
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup margarine
3 eggs (room temp.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix 2 cups flour with sugar, salt and yeast. Put the milk, water and margarine in a large mixing cup and heat in the microwave to 120° or until it feels really hot when you put your finger in it. (The margarine doesn't need to be melted.) Gradually add to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and 1/2 cup more of flour. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn on to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (or you can knead it in the bowl). Place in a greased bowl (It sounds strange, but I use bacon grease), turning to grease the top. Put in warm place (like I mentioned above) and let rise until double; about 35 minutes.
Punch down and divide into 2 halves. Roll into a 14x9 rectangle. If you are making regular bread then, beginning at the 9 inch end, roll as you would a jelly roll, gently making it into a loaf. Divide and place in 2 greased 9x5 bread pans. Let rise again for about 35 minutes until double. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. To see if it's done, thump with your fingers. If it sounds hollow, it is done.
For Cinnamon Bread:
After you have rolled the dough out, spread it with a thick layer of margarine. Then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll as above. Be sure to tuck the ends under so the goodies won't ooze out.
Grandma Suhler's White Bread
This is a great frugal recipe or one to use when you are short on ingredients because it doesn't call for things like milk or eggs.
This recipe was written the way we did it years ago, with just the ingredients and minimal instructions, so I hope you can figure it out OK. As you will see this, recipe breaks most of the rules I explained above, but her bread was always great.
You might also notice she did most of her kneading and working the bread in her bowl instead of dirtying a counter. One of our readers mentioned doing the same thing on the blog a few days ago.
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water, very warm
Flour (about 6-7 cups)
Shift flour into the above mixture, stirring until it is too thick to stir. Then work with hands, adding flour as needed until it becomes a very stiff dough and won't stick to your hands. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat top and set in a warm, draft free place about 1 1/2 hours. (This is why I like my oven method for rising.)
Punch down and let rise 1/2 hour more. Make into loaves or rolls. Makes 2 loaves. Bake at 325° for 1 hour for loaves and 35 minutes for rolls. (I found 375° for 25 minutes also works for the rolls.)
You don't always have to use as much yeast as the recipe calls for. For example, my original bread recipe called for 2 packages of yeast and it made 2 loaves. I have used just one package for years and it works fine. Grandma's original recipe was doubled and made 4 loaves but still only used 1 package of yeast.
If a recipe calls for 2 packages of yeast and it makes 2 loaves of regular bread, you can usually just use 1 package to save a little. If you plan on making bread on a regular basis, you might want to buy yeast in bulk or in the jars because it is much less expensive. You can find bulk yeast in warehouse stores or larger grocery stores. Just take some out and freeze the rest. The yeast will stay fresh for up to 3 years this way.
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are the authors of Dining On A Dime:1,000 Money Saving Recipes and Tips. Dining On A Dime will help you shop smarter, by cooking simpler meals and by making your own basic cleaning products and beauty aids. For free tips & recipes visithttp://www.LivingOnADime.com/