- STEP 1
Put yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water in a large bowl. Add a scant teaspoon of sugar. Stir. Set aside and proof until bubbly (about 10 minutes).
- STEP 2
Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water, vegetable oil, salt, sugar and 3 cups of flour. Mix with whisk or electric mixer for one minute. Add increments of half cup flour and stir with wooden spoon. Repeat until you have used about 5 cups flour. Place dough on lightly-floured counter.
- STEP 3
Knead dough, continuing to sprinkle flour on the counter until dough is no longer sticky. Knead 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and invert to grease other side. Cover with a plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel. Let rise one hour in a warm area with no drafts. While the dough is rising, grease two 8 1/2"x4 1/2" loaf pans. After the dough has risen, punch down. Divide into two portions. Roll each portion slightly larger than the length of the pan. Roll the dough from the long side. Pinch edges. Fold side flaps and pinch. Turn upside down, so that seam is underneath. Place in greased loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. Allow to rise one hour or until one inch above the pan.
- STEP 4
While bread is rising, Place oven rack close to the bottom, but not on the last rack. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F. When bread has risen, bake 20 minutes. Place aluminum foil over bread and bake five more minutes. Remove bread from oven and immediately remove from pans and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool before slicing. Best to slice the next day by allowing bread to sit uncovered on the kitchen counter. Bread has a very hard crust at first, but softens when it cools. Bread is too tender to while warm. If you must cut while warm, cut bread on its side to prevent bread from being mashed. To freeze, cut into slices first, rather than freezing whole loaf uncut. Excellent fresh, thawed, or toasted. Stays fresh until the next day.