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My mother raised us on this bread. It can be made in a machine or by hand. The easiest way is to mix by machine and then knead and form by hand. Additionally, this dough can be divvied out into other shapes for yummy things like cinnamon rolls, dinner/hamburger rolls, and stuffed braids.
Cuisine: Main Ingredient: flour
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Combine warm tap water (125-130 degrees), sugar, salt, powdered milk, and oil the machine mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour. The flour will cool down the water for the yeast. Mix ingredients, then add the yeast and dough conditioner. (Temperature check mixture first before adding yeast and make sure it is between 100-105 degrees.) Let stand for about 15 minutes.
Begin adding in bread flour by machine. Continue adding flour slowly until the dough is the consistency of cookie dough (thicker than pour consistency). Then, transfer the dough to a clean, floured counter and continue to add flour by hand until the dough is just barely sticky. Oil the machine mixing bowl slightly, transferring the dough back to the machine and add a tiny bit of oil to the top of the dough. Cover and let rise until it doubles, approximately one hour.
Pull dough back out of the machine onto an oiled, clean counter and being kneading by hand (approx. 30 seconds until air is out) and form into **5 large bread loaves and put into bread pans. ++Spray with cooking spray, cover and let rise approximately one hour (slightly less than double).
You do not have to make 5 loaves of bread. You can portion out the dough however you see fit and make a combination of shapes and options. The easiest way to do this is to divvy the dough into 5 equal portions, remove the number of portions you want for bread loaves and use the remainder of the dough to do one or more of the following options:
1) Cinnamon Rolls - Roll out a portion of dough approximately 1/2" thick into a rectangle. Make a cinnamon sugar mixture according to your taste and sprinkle liberally over the rectangle. Roll the dough tightly away from you into a log, taking care not to stretch the dough very much. Slice into 2-2.5" wide sections and put rounds into a sprayed round pie pan. Continue recipe at ++.
2) Dinner/Hamburger Rolls - Roll out pieces of dough into balls that are approximately 1/2 of desired finish size and place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Continue recipe at ++.
3) Stuffed Braid - Roll out a portion of dough approximately 1/2" thick into a vertical rectangle. Using a dough scraper or other device, make small slits that are approximately 2" long (horizontally) by 1/2" wide (vertically) on both the left and right sides of the dough from top to bottom. Place a 1/2-3/4 cup mixture of cooked and seasoned veggies and/or meat and cheese in the remaining intact dough center. Then, starting at the top, fold each left slit of dough crosswise over the filling. Then fold each right slit over the dough crosswise, making sure that the slits overlap. This will resemble a braid and will almost completely cover the mixture. Carefully transfer braids to a sprayed cookie sheet. Continue recipe at ++.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put loaves in for 25-30 minutes. (Cinnamon rolls will cook approximately the same time; braids will be 5-10 minutes longer; dinner/hamburger rolls will be slightly less.) If done, the middle of the bread when thumped should sound hollow. Remove loaves immediately from pan and set on cooling rack for an hour, buttering the tops of the loaves immediately with a stick of butter. (Butter braids and rolls as well; ice cinnamon rolls with preferred icing.)
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