Milk Bread (Old Recipe) 

A little more dense and chewy than the recipes made with water.

1/2 c cracked wheat (optional)
or 2 c oats (optional)
14-16 c (5 lb) bread flour
6 c milk
1/2 c butter
3 T yeast
1/2 c sugar
2 T salt

Microwave milk and butter until very warm.  Pour into mixer bowl with dough hook.  Add yeast, sugar, and salt. Let set a minute until the yeast is spongy and bubbly.  Mix in grains or oats.  Mix in the flour on speed #2 until dough will not absorb any more but dough is still soft.  Knead 3 minutes on speed #1.  Do not add any more flour during the kneading (this makes lighter less crumbly bread).   Put dough in very large oiled bowl in the oven to rise for about 60 minutes, until it reaches the top of bowl.  (Turn oven on just until it clicks on, below warm setting.)  If you want more chewy bread, knead by hand and rise another 20 minutes.  After it has risen, punch down and form into loaves.  Warm greased pans in oven, four very large pans.  Place loaves in pans in warm oven to rise about 15-20 minutes, until they are rounded at top of pans.  Turn oven on to 375* and bake for 20-30 minutes.  It should sound hollow and be well browned.  Turn out onto racks and put towels over them to keep the crust soft.

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