Fantastic recipe! I chose to use plain flour, mimicking what Grandma Van Doren probably did, as I’m pretty sure « bread flour » wasn’t a thing in her day. Little tip: if you double the quantity of yeast, the rising time is halved, which is a real time saver.
This bread is incredibly delicious and surprisingly easy to make with a blender. I like to place unbaked loaves in disposable loaf pans and freeze them before they rise. This way I can enjoy freshly baked bread at home anytime. Simply leave the frozen dough on the counter in the morning to rise during the day, then bake it overnight. This bread goes wonderfully with all kinds of foods, but be careful, it disappears quickly!
Wow, this recipe is really awesome! I’m a big fan of baking bread and it’s always disappointing when it turns out to be dense. This bread, however, was wonderfully light with a soft, fluffy crust! I ended up using 4 packets of Rapid Rise yeast since that’s what I had on hand. Regular all-purpose flour also worked well. I let the dough rise for an hour between each step and let the cinnamon rolls rise an additional 35 minutes while the bread bakes. The result? Two great loaves and a generous batch of 18 cinnamon buns covered in cream cheese frosting. Delicious! We finished a whole loaf with peasant soup for dinner and a cinnamon roll for dessert. I am full! The bread has a lovely tangy flavor and a wonderful texture. Don’t hesitate, you have to TRY it!
3 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon salt
6 to 7 cups unbleached ground white wheat flour (Alternatively, regular all-purpose flour can be used. This might require a little more quantity, around 8 cups, leading to a softer, less coarse bread.)
Optional: 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (applicable if you’re using whole white wheat flour)
Initiate the process by dissolving the yeast in a blend of warm water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let this mixture rest for about 10 minutes before adding the oil. Now, integrate the salt and start with 6 cups of flour into the mixture. Combine all the ingredients to form a dough.
Indulge in a kneading spree, ensuring all the ingredients have melded together and the dough has turned smooth and elastic. It should be mildly sticky and start to detach from the bowl. This should take you anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes. If needed, keep adding more flour gradually until you attain the perfect dough consistency.
Once your dough is ready, cover the bowl with a dishcloth or plastic wrap. Let it sit until it doubles in volume. This may take an hour or more, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. To expedite the rising process, you can place the covered bowl in the oven with the oven light switched on, and another bowl of warm water stationed on the lower rack.