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Neil's Harbor White Bread

80%  OF RASCALS LIKED THIS RECIPE
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast granules (or 2 packets), we use Red Star Yeast
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salad oil, melted butter, or melted shortening
  • 11 cups all purpose flour
Origin: From the "Food that Really Schmecks" cookbook, I got this recipe from my grandmother. She used to make everything out of this recipe: bread loaves, hot dog and hamburger buns, sticky buns, doughnuts, etc. It is an excellent bread, whether kneaded by hand, or my favorite way, with the kneading hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer.

In a large, warmed bowl, pour 1 cup lukelukewarm water (above 90 degrees). In the water, dissolve 1 teaspoon white sugar. Over the water, sprinkle the yeast granules. Let it stand for approximately ten minutes and then stir until yeast is completely dissolved. Then stir in 2 cups lukelukewarm water, 1/2 cup white salt, sugar and salad oil, melted butter or melted shortening. Beat. Stir in, 1 cup at a time, about 9 cups all purpose bread flour. (If you are using a mixer, switch from paddle to bread hook when dough begins to get sticky on paddle. If you are mixing by hand, know that mixing in all that flour will be a workout, but it is worth it!!)

To knead by hand: Scrape the dough onto a well flour-covered surface, sprinkle it with flour and knead it. Gather the dough together in your hands and push it away from you with your palms. Fold it into two equal parts towards you, then turn and repeat pushing, folding, and turning, sprinkling flour on the dough to keep it from sticking. This may take up to a cupful more. Keep kneading for several minutes until the dough becomes smooth and stretchy.

To knead by machine: Leave in mixer bowl with dough hook, then set mixer on low, and let it knead for 5 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Check often to make sure that the dough is not crawling out of the bowl. If it crawls up, just turn off the machine and push it back down, then keep on kneading.

After kneading, place the dough in a large, bowl lined with oil and flip to coat both sides with oil. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm location (near a wood stove or in an oven that has been preheated for 30 seconds then turned off. IMPORTANT!!! Always preheat the oven, turn off, and then place the dough in the oven. I've had it happen too often that I forget to turn off the oven and then it ruins the dough!! )

Let it rise (rise up!) for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled. Punch the dough down to remove air bubbles, then divide into 3 parts. Shape each into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan. Cover the loaves with a dish towel and put in a warm location again to rise up the second time. The loaves should double about 1 hour.

Bake in the oven at 400°F for 20 minutes (be patient, you rascal). When bread is rich golden brown on top and bottom and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, it's done!!! Remove from pans to a rack and allow to cool, IF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF IT!!!! There is no better comfort food than hot bread with butter or strawberry jam on it!!!! Enjoy!!! Also try the recipes below.

Variations on the Neil's Harbor Bread recipe:

Rolls: Separate the recipe into 2 ounce portions, make into rolls and line up in greased cake pans, about 1 inch apart. Allow to rise up until double and bake for about 20 minutes at 375°F.

Cinnamon buns: Roll out the dough 1 inch thick, spread with melted butter, and delicately sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up like a jelly roll, cut 1 inch thick with a very sharp knife, then lay in cake pan 1 inch apart. Allow to rise up until double, then bake for 20 minutes at 375°F.

Sticky Buns: Sticky part per 9x13 pan:1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup softened butter, 2 Tbsps corn syrup, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional). Mix the butter, sugar and corn syrup together and spread in the greased pan. Roll out the dough 1 inch thick, spread with melted butter and delicately sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut 1 inch thick with a very sharp knife. Place 1 inch apart in the prepared pans and let rise with love and patience until double. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, cool 1 minute, then invert onto wire rack. Best served warm.

Doughnuts: Roll out the dough 1 inch thick and cut with a doughnut cutter. Allow to rise up for 15 minutes, then deep fry at 375° until golden. Drain on brown paper and then dip in sugar, powdered sugar, or glaze.

Below are all the variations for the recipe that are listed in the book. I like the Raisin Bread, Cinnamon Roll, and Pizza Bread (which is also a hit with kids).

Raisin Bread: add a pound of raisins to entire batch while mixing in flour or, if you only want one loaf, knead 1 cup of raisins into the loaf after the first rising, do the final rising and bake.

Fruit and Nut Loaf: Add 1 or 2 cups of mixed candied fruit, 2 cups of raisins and 1 cup of chopped nuts to the basic dough or knead 1/3 the amount into individual loaves.

Cheese Bread: Mix 2 or 3 cupfuls of shredded sharp cheddar into the recipe or knead 1/3 the amount into individual loaves.

Onion Bread: Mix 2 cups of sauteed chopped onions or 2 packages of onion soup mix into the dough or knead 1/3 the amount into individual loaves.

Herb Bread: Add 1 teaspoon each of savory and marjoram, 1 teaspoon each of thyme, basil, oregano, dill seed, celery seed and 1 Tablespoon of fresh cut up parsley to the dough. This is supposed to be good to make into garlic bread.

Spice Bread: Add 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and clove, and 1 tsp nutmeg or ginger when you mix in the flour.

Cinnamon Roll: Roll the dough for 1 loaf an inch thick and about 6x9 inches. Spread melted butter over the dough, then sprinkle it generously with white or brown sugar and cinnamon and raisins or chopped nuts if you like them. Roll it as you would a jelly roll and put into a loaf pan to rise up. Bake as usual.

Fruit Roll: Roll the dough for 1 loaf an inch thick and about 6x9 inches. Spread melted butter over the dough, then spread with chopped candied fruits, jelly or jam. Roll it like a jelly roll, seal it well around the edges, rise in a loaf pan and bake.

Cheese Roll: Roll the dough for 1 loaf an inch thick and about 6x9 inches. Spread 1 cup of shredded cheese over the dough, then roll up like a jelly roll, rise in a loaf pan and bake.

Onion Roll: Roll the dough for 1 loaf an inch thick and about 6x9 inches. Spread sauteed onions OR sauteed onions and cheese on the dough, then roll up like a jelly roll, rise in a loaf pan and bake.

Pizza Roll: Roll the dough for 1 loaf an inch thick and about 6x9 inches. Spread with pizza sauce and mozzarella. If you like, you can add pepperoni and other pizza ingredients, too. Roll up, seal well, rise in a loaf pan and bake. This may take a few more minutes to bake because the sauce is dense.

Buttermilk Bread: Substitute buttermilk for the 2 cups of water in the recipe. Rise and bake like usual.

Whole Wheat Bread: Substitute whole wheat flour for white flour. Rise and bake as usual. This is especially good if you use stone ground or white whole wheat flour, which has all the health benefits of regular whole wheat flour but has a gentler flavor. It can be found in bulk food stores or health food stores.

Wheat bread: � white, whole wheat flour. Rise and bake as usual. This is especially good if you use stone ground white whole wheat flour, which has all the health benefits of regular whole wheat flour, but has a gentler flavor. It can be found in bulk food stores or health food stores.

From: Christa Bauman







Submitted by Tess M Nov 10, 2009

Reviews

"This is the BEST white bread I've ever made. It's the only one I'll make from now on. Super easy and sooooo delicious." - Deborah Vaughn
"Edna Stabler's enduring recipe is the easiest bread recipe to make really good bread. I taught my son to make bread in one session using Neil's Harbour recipe. " - David_bratton
"Good flavor but a little chewy. I used my Kitchenaid mixer to make the bread and & may not have kneaded it long enough or I got too much flour in it." - Shirleyk
4 stars based on 5 reviews 15 min 30 min 45 min
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