Momma Tallo’s Bread
2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons salt
2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of sweetener of your choice- brown sugar, white sugar, honey, agave
2 cups warm water
6 ½ to 7 cups of flour (I highly recommend King Arthur, it really is the best!)
Add other grains/seeds as you want,
½ cup mixed 10 grain cereal, for example, but count that out of your total 7 cups of flour, add-ins will make the dough harder to knead, so for your first try you may just want to use all-purpose entirely.
Mix yeast, salt, 2 tablespoons oil, your sweetener, and warm water in large bowl. Using warm water will activate the yeast.
Begin adding flour component- start with anything you want to add, any kind of seed or whole grain, even a cup of whole wheat flour, but be sure to keep track! If you add a cup of whole wheat flour, and ½ cup flax seed, only use then 5 cups of all-purpose flour. Mix together until you can no longer stir with a spoon, flour your work-surface and turn dough out onto counter.
Knead for ten minutes, alternating between pulling the far edge of the dough toward you and then with the heels of your palms, pushing down hard, form into large ball, add a tablespoon of oil into the bowl you were working with before, place dough in bowl, spin to coat the bottom with oil, then turn over so oiled side is up.
Cover well with clean dish towels and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours. The area should be warm, but not hot, you do not want the bread to start baking yet.
When the dough has risen to about twice in size, punch down in the bowl to let out the air, and turn out again onto prepared working surface- lightly floured.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Cut dough in half and knead each half into shape, be sure to pinch together tightly any visible seams.
Grease sides and bottoms of 2 8×4 loaf pans, place each shaped loaf in pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, and when it sounds hollow if you knock on the top of the cooked loaf.
My mother has been baking bread this way for ages, as she learned it from her mother (this is the non-Italian side of the family) and these women can bake. Now, that doesn’t mean everything comes out perfect every time. Weather is a huge factor, some days just aren’t bread days, so don’t get discouraged if it takes awhile to rise your dough, or if it doesn’t look perfect, it will taste good anyway.