- 1 C. white flour
- 2 C. buckwheat flour
- 1 yeast cake, dissolved
- 1 C. milk
- 2 Tbs. shortening
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
To make bread, sift flour. Dissolve the yeast with lukewarm water. Put sifted flour in a bowl or on a pastry board. Dissolve salt, sugar (if used) and fat (if used) with lukewarm water, and add gently to the flour. Put the mixture in a bowl and add the dissolved yeast. Mix as thoroughly as possible, adding more water little by little until a soft dough is obtained. If dough is too soft to be handled, add more flour; if too hard, add more liquid.
Next, beat and knead the mixture for about 10 minutes until smooth and shining, or until the dough does not stick any more to the bowl, finger, knife, palette or pastry board.
Take the dough and place it in a floured or greased bowl, cover with a floured cloth, and let stand in a warm place (80 to 88 degrees) at uniform temperature and away from drafts. Let rise until about double its original bulk and full of bubbles, or until a slight touch of the finger leaves an impression. This should happen, if all materials are in good condition and the temperature is right, in about 1-1 1/2 hours. Then the dough is ready for kneading.
Remove dough from bowl or pastry board and dredge pastry board with flour. Flour lightly hands and dough. Fold the farther edge of the dough toward the front without pressing the fingers into it. With the ball of the hand lightly pressed into the dough, roll it slightly away from you.
Make your strokes in kneading light and even, and after each stroke turn the dough a quarter of the way around the board with a second stroke. Repeat this, adding a little flour at a time, or water, if necessary. No amount of time for kneading can be given, as this depends on the quality of the ingredients, the temperature and moisture of the atmosphere. The dough, when kneaded enough, will keep its shape on the board, and is spongy, elastic and smooth. It will also have a velvety surface. Good kneading before rising always gives good results.
Take the dough and divide it into equal parts, according to the sizes of bread desired. Grease pans or molds. The pans or molds should be only half filled with the dough. Mold quickly. Each portion of dough should have an even surface and should be smooth. Pat the dough well into the corners of the molds.
Cover with a thick cloth and place where the dough will be warm (80 to 88 degrees.) as for first rising, until the size of the dough doubles in bulk. The dough will then begin to follow the shape of the pan. The time required for this second rising is between 40 and 55 minutes. The bread is then ready to be baked.
It should be put in a hot oven at first (400-425 degrees) to allow it to form a crust and then stop rising. Then, after the first 15-20 minutes, let the temperature of the oven decrease to 380 degrees until the bread is cooked. The bread should start to brown at the end of the first 20 minutes.
Always test the oven before baking the bread. Always place the pans or molds in the oven in such a way that they do not touch each other, in order that the air may circulate around them and the temperature be evenly distributed.
An ordinary bread loaf requires from 50-60 minutes for baking. Small loaves require a hotter oven than large ones, as the heat penetrates the small loaves more readily and cooks them quickly.
Bread is done when it shrinks from the mold or pan. It makes a singing sound perceptible if the ear is placed very close to the loaf. The under crust and the edges of the upper crust rebound if pressed back by the finger. Bread should be of a golden brown on all sides when removed from the pans. The use of a straw as a probe for bread baking, or a knife stuck into the middle of the bread, is not recommended. After the bread loaves are removed from the pans, put them uncovered in such a place and position that the air can circulate freely around them. Let cool off entirely before storing or eating.