I try to make a few loaves of homemade bread at least a couple times a month. I bake four, freeze two, and devour the rest.
Here’s the version I made this Saturday – it’s a very dark, whole-wheatish version with molasses. You can make it with more white flour and honey if you’d like a lighter loaf.
4 cups milk
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3-4 cups oatmeal
1 cup molasses
2 tablespoons yeast
Great quantities of whole wheat flour (I never measure flour in this recipe, but I would have at least 10-12 cups on hand)
Smaller quantities of white flour (again, I don’t really measure flour when I make bread, but I’d have at least 6 cups on hand – better to have too much than too little)
Heat the milk, salt, and oil until it’s warm, but not hot. (Imagine that you’re going to give a baby a bath in it – that’s the temperature you want.) Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the oatmeal and molasses, and add the yeast.
Stir in great quantities of whole wheat flour and smaller quantities of white flour (the bread I made Saturday was about 3/4 whole wheat and 1/4 white) until you can hardly stir in another bit.
Clean off the counter, dry it, cover it with a mound of flour, and dump the dough onto the counter. Knead the dough for about ten minutes (fold, press, turn, fold, press, turn), then let it rise in a clean pot, covered with a dish cloth.
Once the dough has doubled in size (this should take a couple of hours – go amuse yourself), punch it down and knead it again. Divide the dough into four pieces, knead each one for a minute or two, then shape it into a loaf and plop it into a greased loaf pan. Cover all the loaves with a dish towel and let them rise until they double in size (this will take an hour or two, so go ahead and do something else for a while).
Bake the bread at 375 for 30-40 minutes. It’s best to cover the loaves with foil for the first 20 minutes or so – it keeps the crust from burning before the bread is done.